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  • Recognizing metabolically obese normal-weight

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Friday, May 21, 2004 7:20 am Email this article
    "Metabolically obese, normal-weight individuals are very common in the general population", according to one paper.

    These people have a body mass index of 20 to 27 and have elevated insulin levels, insulin-resistant, are predisposed to type 2 diabetes, elevated triglycerides, and premature coronary heart disease.

    Factors that appear to predispose these individuals, as well as obese individuals, to insulin resistance include belly fat, inactivity, and a low aerobic capacity.

    Metabolically obese, normal-weight individuals need to be identified and treated “with diet, exercise, and possibly pharmacological agents before these diseases become overt, or at least early after their onset. One reason for doing so is that disorders such as type 2 diabetes may be accompanied by irreversible consequences, e.g., ischemic heart disease and nephropathy, at the time of diagnosis or shortly thereafter.”

    It should also be noted that Dr. Artemis Simopoulos said in interview, “As the ratio of omega-6-to-omega-3 [fatty acids] increases above 4-to-1 insulin resistance increases and the prevalence of diabetes increases… [The problem is that the ratio in the typical American diet is] 20-to-1.”

    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in large quantities in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines and in green leafy vegetables.

    Dr. Simopoulos also recommends taking a fish oil supplement containing 1 to 3 grams of the components EPA and DHA as a form of insurance.


    Ruderman N; Chisholm D; Pi-Sunyer X; Schneider S. The metabolically obese, normal-weight individual revisited. Diabetes, 1998 May, 47(5):699-713.

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