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Only 12% of Americans are Metabolically Healthy

Being metabolically healthy is defined as having optimal levels of five factors: blood glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without the need for medications. Poor metabolic health leaves people at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health issues. A recent study suggests that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy.


For this study, researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included 8,721 people in the United States between 2009 and 2016. They found that only 12.2% of American adults are metabolically healthy.


The researchers also found that being more physically active, female, younger, more educated, and a nonsmoker were associated with being more metabolically healthy. However, being non-Hispanic black or having a higher body mass index was associated with being less likely to be metabolically healthy. They also found that less than 1% of obese adults are metabolically healthy, and that people who exercise more tend to have higher levels of metabolic health.


Researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill led the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 27, 2018, in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.

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