Washington: Data reported by the a new study reinforces the positive influence of lifestyle factors in mitigating risks which could potentially up heart disease risk and other health problems.
Findings based on 1,059 residents of New Ulm, Minnesota underscore the importance of obesity prevention and nutrition, specifically eating more fruits and vegetables, in addressing metabolic syndrome (MS), a common precursor to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
This study used an easily calculated Optimal Lifestyle Score (OLS), which is a composite summary of smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption, alcohol use, physical activity, and body mass index.
The results were presented by Jackie Boucher, MS, RD, LD, CDE, Vice President for Education, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation on Tuesday November 19 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Dallas, TX.
Boucher said that these findings clearly support national recommendations encouraging individuals to achieve energy balance and to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
She said that their data suggests that there is a clear connection between increased body weight or the decrease in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and the development of metabolic syndrome, a clustering of CVD risk factors.
In 2009, 1,059 of screened residents did not have MS, with 123 (12 percent) going on to develop MS by 2011.
A decline in the OLS was associated with a nearly 3-fold increased risk of incident MS (aOR = 2.9, CI: 1.69, 5.04). Changes in BMI and fruit/vegetable consumption were the OLS components most strongly associated with MS.
People who became obese during the two-year time period were more than eight times more likely to develop MS and people who reduced their intake of fruits and vegetables to less than 5 or more servings per day were four times more likely to develop MS.