Chubby tummies are a health time bomb for SA women
Researchers call for urgent nutritional education to 'halt the escalating epidemic' linked to unhealthy diets
More than one in three young South African women who took part in a new study have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Physiologists from the University of Limpopo said the reasons included chubby waists and a chronic shortage of fibre in their diets.
“This is a cause for concern given the increased benefits that people are likely to have if they consume this nutrient,” said Machoene Sekgala, Kotsedi Monyeki and their colleagues.
“High dietary fibre intake lowers adiposity since it suppresses appetite,” the University of Limpopo researchers reported in the journal Nature, adding that it had numerous other health benefits.
Low fibre intake in the 306 men and 318 women they studied – all aged between 18 and 30 – was significantly associated with high blood pressure, one of the conditions linked to metabolic syndrome. Other conditions associated with the syndrome are abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein. Anyone with three out of the five conditions has metabolic syndrome.
10 best sources of dietary fibre:
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Nuts, especially almonds, pecans and walnuts
- Baked potato with skin
- Bran cereal
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