Metabolism refers to the entire range of biochemical, anabolic (build-up) and catabolic (break down), processes that occur in the body and is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy. Unhealthy metabolism results in many physiological disturbances increasing the risk for cardiometabolic disease such as Diabetes, thus, metabolic health is of major importance for every human being.
Being “metabolically healthy” is often defined by less than two metabolic abnormalities among the four components of Metabolic Syndrome (independent of having central obesity); that is, raised blood pressure, raised fasting blood glucose, raised triglycerides and reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Whilst central (abdominal) obesity, easily assessed using waist circumference, is a prerequisite risk factor for Metabolic Syndrome, the observation that some obese individuals have a favourable metabolic profile has led to the notion of ‘metabolically healthy obesity’. Thus, for a comprehensive assessment of the metabolic health of a population additional metabolic measurement such as (but not limited to) insulin resistance, subclinical inflammation and visceral obesity are recommended.