WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Adhering to regular physical activity and a healthy diet in midlife is associated with a reduced risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS), according to a study published online March 31 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Joowon Lee, Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined 2,379 Framingham Heart Study Third Generation participants attending examination cycle 2 to assess adherence to physical activity and dietary guidelines with MetS.

The researchers found that adherence rates to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were individually associated with lower odds of prevalent MetS (odds ratios, 0.49 and 0.67, respectively); compared with the reference group of individuals nonadherent to both guidelines, conjoint adherence to both guidelines was associated with the lowest odds of prevalent MetS (odds ratio, 0.35). The risk for MetS was lower prospectively with adherence rates to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (hazard ratios, 0.66 and 0.68, respectively); compared with the referent group, the risk for MetS was 52 percent lower in individuals who adhered to both guidelines.

“Health care professionals could use these findings to further promote and emphasize to their patients the benefits of a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule to avoid the development of numerous chronic health conditions in the present and in later life,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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