A recent Danish study published in BMJ Open looked at more than 10,000 Danish adults, aged 21 to 98, who were first assessed between 1991 and 1994 and then followed for up to 10 years.
At the initial assessment, about 20%of women and 27% of men had metabolic syndrome - a term that refers to a combination of factors including high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, abnormal blood fat levels and abdominal obesity that in combination increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
By the end of the study period, metabolic syndrome had developed in about 15% of the people who did not have the syndrome at the start of the study while the syndrome developed in about 19% of inactive people and 12% of those who were very physically active.
Further investigation showed that it was not only the amount of exercise, but also the intensity that helped reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome; fast walking cut the risk by 50 percent and jogging cut the risk by 40 percent, while going for an hour-long walk each day did not make any difference.
The take home message - consider adding shorter harder walks or 'walk-jogs' into your daily walking routine to increase the likelihood of your activity guarding against metabolic syndrome.
The October issue of In Touch is packed full of rugby league news from around the country.
This issue includes news of Northern Swords u17 player Corey Naera being named in the 2012 national Merit Team and local ref Tane Kawai being appointed as Northland Rugby League Development Officer for the mid to far north - congratulations Corey and Tane.
Last week Russell Blackstock wrote a short but compelling piece for the Herald on Lindsey 'Linds' Redding who recently died of cancer aged 52.
I've not yet delved into Lindsey's blog but Blackstock's article was certainly enough to make me stop and take stock of the frailty of life, our mortality, and how lucky I am to have a fantastic wife who I love dearly and who has given me four gorgeous children who I adore.
While Linds had been an advertising high-flyer his realisation that the years he had dedicated to the business and missing out on family occasions simply "wasn't worth it" was sad but in a way uplifting.
"It turns out it was just advertising - there was no higher calling". . . . . I have given thanks for what I have numerous times while writing this and when I go home tonight will hug my wife and kids like there is no tomorrow and again give thanks.
RIP Linds and thank you for the reality check of your realisation and message.
The latest in rugby league news from Northland.
Forbes has cited a very interesting study by the National Center for Health Statistics which looked at data on "American Size" between 2005 and 2008. The study found that of the 72 and a half million adults who are obese, 41% (about 30 million) are well above the poverty line with only 20% of obese adults considered “poor”.
The studies findings contradict a common belief that people eat badly because they are poor and can’t afford better food and point to the fact that “convenience,” and not cost or a lack of education, is making Americans fat.
I have always been sceptical of often touted reasons (read excuses) for people being obese e.g. the aforementioned affordability of healthy food, genetics, the location of fast food outlets and subsequent 'ease' of availability and this study certainly dispels one excuse.
Ultimately we all have a choice and until such time as individuals take a hard look in the mirror and step up to taking ownership and responsibility for making the right (as opposed to "convenient") choices around food the obesity epidemic will not subside too much in the near future.