Dietary Interventions to Reduce Metabolic Syndrome in an Uninsured Population

Friday, 16 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Michele S. Bednarzyk, DNP, FNP, BC
School of Nursing, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify the factors associated with metabolic syndrome.

Learning Objective 2: discuss dietary interventions related to metabolic syndrome.

Recent studies show that more than one-third of U.S. adults (over 72 million people) were obese in 2005–2006. This includes 33.3% of men and 35.3% of women. Obesity is a primary factor in the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition that place individuals at high absolute risk of mortality and morbidity. The use of a nutritionally balanced diet aimed at weight reduction has the potential to decrease the prevalence of obesity, therefore reducing the incidence of metabolic syndrome and its consequences.

The purpose of this project was to investigate whether individual nutrition counseling would improve the outcomes of patients with metabolic syndrome. A trans-disciplinary team of faculty and graduate students from nutrition and nursing served as consultants and educators at a clinic for the uninsured in a southeastern city in the United States. This study was a one-group before-and-after design, with baseline data obtained on patients prior to the practice change. The study ran for six months. The intervention was an evidence-based practice change incorporating intensive dietary program for 19 patients with metabolic syndrome and an evaluation of the effect of that change on lipoproteins, glucose, blood pressure, weight, and waist circumference.

Although there were no positive changes in either weight or waist circumference, the participants did enjoy a significant decrease in blood pressure, fasting glucose and plasma lipids. None of these changes were significantly associated with the dietary interventionBased on the most current evidence, the most effective way to reduce risks associated with metabolic syndrome is weight reduction, adequate nutrition, and exercise. Strategies to improve symptoms related to metabolic syndrome and more evidence based research is needed in this area.