America's "Dangerous Diet" - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/22/08

America's "Dangerous Diet"

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There's still more dramatic information about the link between what we eat and the risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers followed more than 9,000 adults for nine years and they found that a diet that's heavy in fast food (processed meat, fried foods, and sodas) had a dramatically increased risk of Metabolic Syndrome.  Metabolic Syndrome is a group of risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Researchers say that's especially concerning for the country's young people.

Dr. Richard A. Stein, M.D., a cardiologist for the American Heart Association, says that, "as they hit their late teens and early 20's they'll hit pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes. And somewhere in their late 30's and early 40's, a decade earlier than their parents, we're going to see this phenomenon occur."

A person is considered to have the syndrome if they have three of the following risk factors:

  • 1. Obesity Waist Ratio- 35" waist for women, over 40" for men
  • 2. High Blood Pressure
  • 3. Elevated Triglycerides
  • 4. Low Levels Of HDL (good cholesterol)
  • 5. High Fasting Glucose Levels

Researchers say that the findings send a clear message:  as a culture we need to do something that may be difficult - change our eating patterns.

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