Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - ART & MUSIC -

In Ire­land, we’re fast on the way to be­com­ing the fat­test na­tion in Europe with one in four adults now classed as obese, and 70pc of men recorded as be­ing at an un­healthy weight. Not only does obe­sity in­crease the like­li­hood of sleep ap­noea (see page 6), but it can lead to a clus­ter of con­di­tions such as in­creased blood sugar, high blood pres­sure, fat around the mid­dle and high choles­terol lev­els that to­gether are known as meta­bolic syn­drome and in­crease your risk of heart dis­ease, stroke and di­a­betes. The dan­gers don’t stop there. Stud­ies show meta­bolic syn­drome also has a big im­pact on your cog­ni­tive func­tion and the risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s.

On the plus side, if you tackle it, says Dr Bre­desen, not only are you age-proof­ing your brain but you may find you no longer need med­i­ca­tion for blood pres­sure, statins or Type 2 di­a­betes, “be­cause when you do the right things, you ac­tu­ally don’t need them.”

There’s no one sil­ver bul­let that tack­les meta­bolic syn­drome. The first step is to ask your GP to test for Hae­moglobin A1c, which Dr Bre­desen ad­vises should be be­low 5.6pc. If it is over that, there are umpteen re­sources to help you change your life­style and im­prove your risk fac­tors, in­clud­ing the many point­ers given here.

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