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America’s Teens more Overweight, at Increased Diabetes Risk

separator A recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has shown that about 4 percent of American teenagers have developed what’s called “metabolic syndrome,” which is an early warning sign that health problems, including diabetes, are more likely to develop. People who have three of the following five characteristics are considered to have the syndrome:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High levels of blood fats called “triglycerides”
  • Low levels of “good,” or HDL cholesterol
  • Higher than normal blood sugar

Metabolic syndrome is most common in people who are overweight. In the study, 30 percent of the teens who were overweight had the syndrome. And teens who have the syndrome are more likely to develop diabetes by the time they’re in their 20s and heart disease by the time they’re in their 40s.

People who have metabolic syndrome can greatly reduce their risk of developing diabetes and heart disease if they lose weight. See this issue’s Tips for Preventing Type 2 in Kids for some practical weight loss ideas. [PROVIDE LINK HERE]

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, August 2003
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