New study shows alarmingly low rates of metabolic health

The study looked at blood glucose, triglycerides, HDL, blood pressure, and waist circumference among Americans.
1:57 | 12/08/18

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Transcript for New study shows alarmingly low rates of metabolic health
?????? Welcome back to "Gma." In today's "Weekend download," are you as healthy as you think? A new study done at the university of North Carolina, chapel hill found that only 12% of Americans had optimal levels of metabolic health. Joining us now to discuss what that all means, ABC's chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton. Great to see you. Thanks. What is metabolic health and why are only 12% of Americans healthy in this way? It's not good news for us but it basically is tricky. You hear the word metabolic and you think, oh, your metabolism. That's how quickly I burn calories. It's much more significant. This is how our cells function, not only in terms of burning calories but processing sugar, fats, measure of inflammation. This is a really big deal and our report card is not good. So when you talk about five parameters which we'll go through basically, how you process blood glucose, your triglycerides and cholesterol, we're not doing well and if you're overweight and obese only 1% of that population is meeting optimal numbers. So the numbers sound dismal. Why are we failing so much in this way? Our weight and inactivity. And I want people to understand you need to know -- I'm going to call them the fab five, so take a look at this graphic, wit, because these are what we're being judged on. Your blood glucose should be less than 100 fasting. Your triglycerides fasting less than 150. The hdl which is our healthy good cholesterol, we want it high, if you're a man, more than 40, a woman over 50 and blood pressure maximum 130 over 80 and waist circumference, male, less than 40, women less than 35. The key, know these numbers and try to get them in the optimal range. So now that we know them, how do you make that change? Et moving. The more exercise and activity, the better. Some is better than none. More is better than less so get out there and get moving. All right, Dr. Ashton. Right now. Thanks so much. I'm going. On my way right out the door. We appreciate it as always.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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