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Active Voice: Metabolic Syndrome and Walking — From Kids to Young Adults

from By Andrew W. Gardner, Ph.D.

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Dr. Gardner is a professor who holds the Donald W. Reynolds Chair of Aging Research in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. His training is in clinical exercise physiology, emphasizing the cardiovascular benefits of exercise and physical activity in vascular disease and at-risk populations. Dr. Gardner’s primary research program centers on exercise rehabilitation of peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients, exercise physiology issues as they relate to both PAD and healthy aging, and the roles of community-based daily ambulatory activity and body composition on vascular function in youth.

This commentary presents Dr. Gardner’s views associated with a related research report that he and his colleagues presented in the January 2013 issue of ACSM’s
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise® (MSSE).

Metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension, and is clinically significant because it increases the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studying metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents is a relatively new phenomenon, primarily due to the explosive rise of obesity in the United States in the general population, particularly in youth. The International Diabetes Federation recently recommended definitions for each component of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents, consisting of having abdominal obesity plus at least two of the other four components. Since abdominal obesity is the hallmark measure of metabolic syndrome, increased physical activity is a cost-efficient, practical method to reduce visceral fat. more

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