To Your Health
August, 2015 (Vol. 09, Issue 08)
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Diet Is Key, But Exercise Is Essential

By Editorial Staff

Diet and exercise are two of the age-old pillars of health and wellness, but is one more important than the other? A recent study suggests that when it comes to preventing a major consequence of poor diet and sedentary behavior – a dangerous condition called metabolic syndrome – exercise may actually be more valuable.

In the just-published study, researchers analyzed data for more than 4,000 adults participating in the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Weekly physical activity from work, leisure-time activities and transportation activity, was assessed, along with energy intake / expenditure from two 24-hour dietary recalls.

exercise - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark In comparing adults with vs. without metabolic syndrome (a condition characterized by high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, excessive body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol), researchers found that "increased physical activity may be more protective than reduced caloric intake" in preventing metabolic syndrome.

The American Heart Association estimates that as many as one in four U.S. adults suffer from metabolic syndrome, which increases their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To learn more about metabolic syndrome and how diet, exercise and other lifestyle behaviors impact your risk, talk to your doctor.