What is Metabolic Syndrome?
According to the American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders that increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases and other disorders, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist (abdominal obesity) and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. 
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome varies in different parts of the world. Most studies found that over one-third of adults suffer from metabolic syndrome, and its prevalence increases with age. A 2017 study found the prevalence rate for metabolic syndrome was up to 40% among Malaysian adults. 
Metabolic Syndrome is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, and total mortality among various populations. 
Metabolic syndrome is also associated with other medical conditions such as psychiatric disorders, erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovarian syndrome and colorectal cancer. 
Metabolic Syndrome is an independent risk factor for
Metabolic Syndrome and Body Weight
Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. Increased abdominal obesity is one of the leading risk factors for metabolic syndrome.  According to the American Heart Association, abdominal obesity is a waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and greater than 35 inches in women.
Obesity has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the leading causes of death and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Recent reports indicate that NCDs are independent risk factors for severe Covid-19 and death, putting individuals who are obese at greater risk of developing severe Covid-19. 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global standard for an overweight adult is a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25, while a BMI of 30 or more is obese. However, in recent years the health authorities in many Asian countries have adopted the Asia-Pacific classification of BMI which recommends a lower cut-off for overweight and obese categories compared to WHO; of 23–24.9 for overweight, and 25 for obese in Asian populations. 
BMI is a simple index of weight-for-height commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his or her height in meters (kg/m2). 
While BMI does not measure body fat directly, it is strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcomes. It is a simple tool that can be used as a first step in ruling out metabolic syndrome. 
Maintaining a healthy body weight can prevent chronic diseases!
Reducing abdominal obesity and maintaining a healthy body weight is one of the crucial ways to prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
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 American Heart Association, About Metabolic Syndrome.Accessible at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/about-metabolic-syndrome (Lastaccessed: 3 March 2021)
 K G Lim, W K Cheah, A Review of Metabolic Syndrome Research inMalaysia, Med J Malaysia. 2016 Jun;71(Suppl 1):20-28. (Last accessed: 5March 2021)
 Kobo et al,Normal body mass index (BMI) can rule out metabolic syndrome – An Israelicohort study. DOI: 10.1097. Medicine® March 2019. Accessible at:https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2019/03010/Normal_body_mass_index__BMI__can_rule_out.53.aspx(Last accessed: 3 March 2021)
Sattar, N. et al, Mechanisms for COVID-19 Severity in Obesity.DOI: 10.1161. American Heart Association 2020. Accessible at: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047659 (Last accessed: 4 March 2021).
 Jeong Uk Lim et al,‘Comparison of World Health Organization and Asia-Pacific body mass indexclassifications in COPD patients’. Accessible athttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571887/
 World Health Organization,Obesity and overweight. Accessible at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight (Last accessed: 9 October 2020)
National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, National Institutes of Health (NIH)and Ministry of Health Malaysia. Accessible at:http://iptk.moh.gov.my/images/technical_report/2020/4_Infographic_Booklet_NHMS_2019_-_English.pdf(last accessed 14 Jan 2021)