More than a third of obese people have metabolic syndrome. This condition combines five parameters: high glucose, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL (the good cholesterol) and a bulging waistline. Most people have a resistance to insulin, and may be on the road to developing adult diabetes.

  • Insulin: This hormone allows sugar to enter cells. Obese people may be resistant to insulin, so this glucose is elevated as well as insulin. This problem improves with weight loss.
  • Leptin: Fat cells make this hormone. It helps curb the appetite so we don’t gain too much weight. This mechanism may not work as well in obese people.
  • Adiponectin: This fat home decreases with weight gain. Higher adiponectin levels are desirable. They protect us from heart attacks. As we lose weight, adiponectin increases.
  • Myoglobin: This muscle enzyme is very low in petite people with little muscle.

QUIZ: How Often Do You Exercise?