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you more responsive to normal insulin. Exercise assists the muscles with glucose (blood sugar) absorption without the need for insulin. So the more muscle you have, the more glucose you can burn to control blood glucose levels.


LARGE WAISTLINE There’s an easy way to distinguish excess belly fat and that’s the old apple and pear shaped bodies. The Mayo Clinic reports that people who have metabolic syndrome typically have apple-shaped bodies in which they carry a lot of weight around their abdomens thus having larger waists. A pear-shaped body is one where more weight is carried around the hips and but- tocks with a narrower waist. The pear body type puts you at a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease according to the Mayo report. Fuhs points out that the American waist circumference guidelines of 40 inches for men and 35 for women are still well above the guidelines used in Europe. There, men are considered to have a large waist at 37 inches and above and women at 32 and above. Fuhs says we are a nation that’s so used to being fat that we start our definition of a large waistline at three inches higher than other countries. It’s no surprise that the U.S. also has a much higher obesity rate than Europe.


HIGH FASTING BLOOD SUGAR Much current literature says the two most important risk


factors with meta-


bolic syndrome are extra weight around the middle, called central obesity, and high blood sugar, a result of insulin resis- tance. Both are brought on by eating too much. In the case of insulin resistance Fuhs explains, “Your body is trying to compensate for your overeating, so it starts producing insulin. That works for a while, but with continued overeating your body doesn’t respond to the insulin and becomes resistant.” Avoiding insulin resistance is critical because of its direct correlation to type 2 diabetes. Some experts say insulin resistance is in fact the root cause of almost


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