Wed, Aug 10, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Rotund men heading for health crisis: health agency

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese men need to watch their waists, as 29 percent of the nation’s men aged 40 or over have excessive girths, which can increase their risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said.

“Waist measurements of more than 90cm for men or 80cm for women show that abdominal fat or visceral fat has accumulated to the point where it can have a negative effect on the metabolism,” Chronic Disease Control Division official Chia Shu-li (賈淑麗) said. “It also increases the risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

According to the agency’s 2014 statistics, 62 percent of men aged 40 or over with a waist measurement of 90cm or more were diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome.

Chia said metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

The agency said that people with metabolic syndrome are six times more likely to develop diabetes than those without the condition, four times more likely to have hypertension, three times more likely to have excess levels of fats or lipids in their blood and two times more likely to develop heart disease or stroke.

“About 60 percent of the public do not measure the circumference of their waist regularly,” HPA Director Wang Ying-Wei (王英偉) said. “We urge people to measure it regularly, because the size can change in a short period of time.”

To avoid metabolic syndrome, the administration urged people to drink water instead of sweetened beverages; eat until only 80 percent full; eat food high in fiber and low in saturated fats and cholesterol; exercise regularly; avoid smoking and drinking alcohol frequently; relieve stress; and to measure their waists and have health exams regularly.

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