Plain language summary
Metabolic Syndrome is the term used to group a cluster of health concerns including overweight, obesity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, blood glucose intolerance and insulin resistance which together can contribute to the development of Type II Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Diagnosis is usually given if a patient has three or more of these conditions however the diagnosis in children and adolescents is often inconsistent, and so guidelines for therapeutic strategies for metabolic syndrome also vary greatly. This review looked at 9 studies of children aged up to 19 years old, all diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, and given dietary, physical, psychological, and pharmacological interventions, to try and understand what the best clinical approach might be. It was found that a balanced diet combined with aerobic and resistance exercise helped to significantly reduce body mass, more so than the trials which included treatment with Metformin. A balance diet included calorie restriction and carbohydrate reduction, carefully planned around the daily exercise program of 2-3 resistance sessions each week and frequent cardio sessions of differing intensity and duration. They concluded that a minimum of 6 months was needed to reach optimal weight loss and body fat loss. Overall, the findings of this study support diet and physical exercise as beneficial clinical interventions, whilst the use of medication is still unclear.