Paul B. Nolan1,2, Graeme Carrick-Ranson2,3, Borja del Pozo-Cruz4, James W. Stinear2, Stacey A. Reading2, Lance C. Dalleck1,5. The Relationship Between Lifestyle and Metabolic Syndrome in a Young Adult Population. 1Exercise Science, College of Nursing and Health Science, Flinders University, Adelaide, AU; 2Department of Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ; 3Exercise and Sport Science, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, AU; 4Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, AU; 5High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, USA.


Purpose: The Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn) is associated with a poor lifestyle and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Examination of the relationship between lifestyle practices and the presence of MetSyn components in young adults may identify those with a high lifetime risk of developing MetSyn. The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationship between MetSyn and MetSyn component prevalence and self-reported lifestyle choices in young adults. Methods: MetSyn was examined in 271 apparently healthy 18-25-year olds (45.9% male) using the harmonized criteria. Lifestyle was assessed using a simple lifestyle indicator questionnaire (SLIQ). Analyses were performed to determine differences between MetSyn and MetSyn component prevalence based on SLIQ category (unhealthy, intermediate, healthy). Binomial regression was performed to determine which SLIQ variables best predicted the presence of MetSyn. A receiver operator characteristic curve analysis was performed to determine the effectiveness of the SLIQ to correctly predicting the presence of MetSyn. Results: MetSyn was present in 12.2% participants with the majority of MetSyn (87% of all MetSyn) in people with an unhealthy lifestyle. Not performing vigorous physical activity and consuming more than 14 units of alcohol were statistically significant predictors of MetSyn (both p<0.05). The SLIQ predicted MetSyn presence with the area under the curve (0.935). Conclusion: Not performing vigorous physical activity and consuming more than 14 units of alcohol increase the likelihood of having MetSyn in young adults. The SLIQ was effective in determining the presence of MetSyn in young adults.