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How Healthy Are You?

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Would you describe yourself as health-conscious? A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Center for Child Health Research has found that teens can’t afford not to be. The researchers say that nearly a million teens are at risk for metabolic syndrome — a condition that affects at least a third of overweight teens. Teens with the syndrome are believed to be at a greatly increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes by their 20s and heart disease as early as in their 40s.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can cause life-threatening complications to the body’s organs. With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, a hormone that helps your body process sugars and starches into energy. Without enough insulin, your body becomes starved for energy and too much sugar remains in the blood, which can lead to blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage.

Those with metabolic syndrome are defined as having at least three of five criteria: being overweight, particularly around the abdomen; having high blood pressure; having high blood sugar; having low levels of HDL cholesterol (considered a healthy type of cholesterol); and having high levels of fatty chemicals in the blood known as triglycerides.

It’s not all bad news however. The study shows that the risk for diabetes and heart disease drops sharply for those with metabolic syndrome if they lose weight.

So how much do you know about health habits that can ward off diabetes? Click below to take the quiz.

Are You at Risk?

Quiz: Are You at Risk?

 

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