The main concern with this continuing rise is that it forecasts a similar increase in the rate of type 2 diabetes, according to researcher Dr. Gary Liguori, an assistant professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences at North Dakota State University in Fargo.
For individuals, the findings underscore the importance of a healthy lifestyle -- which includes maintaining a normal weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, Liguori
said in an interview.
From a public-health standpoint, he
said, the results point to a continuing need to rein in childhood obesity rates.
noted that the increase in metabolic syndrome among younger adults may, at least in part, reflect the rise in childhood obesity that began in the 1980s.
For the current study, Liguori
and his colleague Dr. Arupendra Mozumdar examined data from two waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (often referred to as "NHANES"), an ongoing series of government studies that includes interviews and physical exams of nationally representative samples of U.S. adults.
Because obese young adults often were overweight as children or teens, these findings emphasize the importance of preventing childhood obesity in the first place, Liguori