Food choices, physical activity and metabolic health in obese patients

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Hanna Alajõe
Kadri Suija
Anneli Rätsep
Ruth Kalda
Margus Lember


The aim of the current study was to analyse the food choices and physical activity of obese adult Estonian persons, and associations with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The study was carried out on 76 patients aged over 35 years whose body mass index was ≥30 kg/m2. The subjects were recruited through family physicians. The subjects’ consumption of three food groups (fruit, vegetables, whole-grain products) and physical activity based on the IPAQ questionnaire was compared with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome based on five indicators (waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL- cholesterol and fasting plasma glucose, blood pressure). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was found to be 50%. The results of the study did not show statistically significant correlations between prevalence of metabolic syndrome and age or gender. Neither were there any significant age or gender differences in the subjects’ nutritional and activity behaviour. Comparison of the nutritional behaviour of persons with and without the metabolic syndrome showed that daily consumers of fruit had a 4.48 times lower risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate fruit more seldom. No statistically significant correlation was found between physical activity and prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Based on the current study, the daily consumption of fruit can be an essential protective factor against metabolic syndrome in obese patients and provides a simple recommendation physicians can give their patients to follow.

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How to Cite
Alajõe, H., Suija, K., Rätsep, A., Kalda, R., & Lember, M. (2019). Food choices, physical activity and metabolic health in obese patients. Papers on Anthropology, 28(1), 9-20.