COVID-19 Update: Only One in Eight is Metabolically Healthy, Are You?

Hello again everyone:

This topic has broad implications beyond reducing Covid-19 risk. As you know, we have previously spoken about the ‘Elephant In The Room’ which is about the fact that those who have poor health have seriously greater risk of infection (of any type) and poorer outcomes, including death. It is estimated that at least 60% of the U.S. population has one or more chronic diseases, 70% are overweight or obese, and now we find out only 12.2% of us are metabolically healthy. This means that a whopping 87.8% (7 of 8) are at serious risk for not only Covid-19, but disability and death from all causes such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and on and on.

“Characteristics associated with greater prevalence of metabolic health were female gender, youth, more education, never smoking, practicing vigorous physical activity, and low body mass index. Less than one-third of normal weight adults were metabolically healthy and the prevalence decreased to 8.0% and 0.5% in overweight and obese individuals, respectively.

Conclusions: Prevalence of metabolic health in American adults is alarmingly low, even in normal weight individuals. The large number of people not achieving optimal levels of risk factors, even in low-risk groups, has serious implications for public health.”

Bottom Line: These facts are truly alarming. In light of the fact that this pandemic is probably going to be affecting our lives for at least another year (as past and similar pandemics have done, including the second wave), there is plenty of time to improve your metabolic health. What’s more, in most cases these issues are not that difficult to reduce or resolve. There are two urgent reasons to do this: one is to reduce your risk and severity of infection during this pandemic, and the other is to protect your future health and reduce your risk of disability and death from all causes. Where to start? This is a very short and partial list to give you a place to start right away, however, these are the fundamentals and I have listed them in what I think is the order of importance, but that can be different for each of us:

  • Eat right: this includes intermittent fasting, what & when you eat are crucial & NO sugar or processed ‘food’.
  • Do not put toxic things into your body
  • Exercise: move your body every day, and get outside often.
  • Reduce and manage stress: meditation/prayer/mindfulness.
  • Get high quality sleep: have a sleep habit and stick to it, avoid blue light at night, read more
  • If you have excess belly fat, get rid of it: major health issues are associated with elevated abdominal adiposity.
  • Supplement a multi-vitamin, Vit. D3 with K2, and a probiotic at a minimum.
  • Maintain social relationships: perhaps get a health partner for accountability

I have previously written a large number of newsletters/blogs on how to eat right that you can easily search on our website, and this truly is the foundation of our health. We simply cannot eat processed foods, sugary things, trans fats, refined carbs, bad fats, inadequate fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds, frequent/daily alcohol, smoke anything, consume artificial flavors and colors and additives, eat and drink from plastic anything, and think we are getting away with it or doing something that is Ok or good for us. Make sure you start there and stay there. When it comes to living your best life, there are few things as important and being metabolically healthy. Invest in yourself as this is both your true health insurance and your best long-term strategy…and you can do this by simply taking one step at a time.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by what you see that you need to do to get your health back, you might benefit from reading this book: ‘Tiny Habits’ by B.J. Fogg, PhD…forget big change…start with a tiny (doable) habit and success will follow…to achieve ANY goal that you choose, small changes or upgrades will change everything sooner or later…probably faster than you imagine!


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