Healthy behaviour and lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is accomplished following an appropriate balanced diet and performing physical activity. This is supported by most metabolic syndrome prevention and patient education programs recently developed in western countries to modify the diet and lifestyle and, most importantly, recommend regular physical activity. In the U.S., the Healthy People 2020 program identifies physical activity as one of the main health care national goals, while the WHO-Europe Action Plan 2012–2016 adopts projects supporting and promoting physical activity. In Italy, the 2014-2018 National Health Plan emphasizes the importance of physical activity for health and focuses on the issue of sedentary lifestyles as a cause of diabetes mellitus. In this respect, any initiative studying and monitoring the national scenario while also promoting prevention, physical activity and an appropriate lifestyle is of the upmost importance.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the result of the coexistence of obesity, arterial hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. This clinical condition is related to an extremely high risk of cardiovascular problems. There is a general consensus within the scientific community on defining patients at risk of metabolic syndrome as individuals presenting three or more of the following associated symptoms: waist size greater than 102 cm (men) and 88 cm (women); arterial hypertension higher than 130 (maximum) and 90 (minimum); fasting plasma glucose greater than 110 mg/dl; cholesterol over 200 mg/dl; triglycerides higher than 150 mg/dl. More than 1 in 5 adults worldwide have raised blood pressure (Cardiovascular diseases, WHO, 2015) and globally, around 39% of adults aged 25 and over had raised cholesterol (Global Health Observatory data, WHO, 2008). Bad nutrition habits and insufficient physical activity induce profound metabolic changes, referred to as metabolic syndrome, of which overweight and obesity are only the most obvious manifestations. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of:

  • Cardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic diseases of the liver (steatohepatitis, cirrhosis)
  • Cancer (especially of the liver, gallbladder, colon …)
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (dementia, depression)

Over the last few years, the WHO has drawn attention to a spreading health problem in countries with advanced economies: an “epidemic of obesity and diabetes” (globesity) caused by inappropriate diet (excessive consumption of sugar, saturated fats, and alcoholic beverages) and a sedentary lifestyle. In 2014, 39% of adults aged 18 years and older (38% of men and 40% of women) were overweight. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014: in 2014, 11% of men and 15% of women worldwide were obese. Thus, more than half a billion adults worldwide are classed as obese.

The link between obesity, poor health outcomes and all-cause mortality is well established. Obesity increases the likelihood of diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon). The global prevalence of diabetes was estimated to be 9% in 2014. The cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke) were the leading cause of death in 2012. (Source: Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014, WHO, 2014).


UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme adopts a new strategy and approach, a blend of ancient culture of the liver and modern technology. In ancient times, the liver was considered the main organ of life, the source of the organism responsible for good health, digestion, and was used to predict the future through animal sacrifice. From Etruscan and Roman times up to the health spa of today, Chianciano has passed down the tradition of thermal and natural treatments summoned by the old saying, “A healthy liver in Chianciano” (Chianciano fegato sano). Pittsburgh, on the other hand, represents modern technology applied to hepatology, having introduced liver transplants to the world utilizing and developing innovative technologies. This is how Chianciano and Pittsburgh join forces. A symbiosis between two cornerstones of liver history creating a comprehensive medical center based on the concept that the liver is the mirror of health.

In addition to the standard screening tests, UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme offers an in-depth assessment of the liver’s status with dedicated physical (ultrasound and elastometry) and biochemical (blood) tests. Our screening programs are devised to accurately identify subjects at risk for cardiovascular, metabolic, or hepato-digestive diseases. If necessary, after performing the preliminary tests, the patients may have access to more specific screening and prevention programs.
Standard screening, without an accurate analysis of the liver’s health, will fail to provide accurate results.

In the light of the above, it is evident that the accumulation of fat in the liver represents the most accurate symptom of an incorrect diet. Recommending and undergoing prevention programs is therefore essential to monitor health.

How to reach us

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At the UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme, we offer preventive medicine services for gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and cardiac diseases, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. In other words, we take care of you.


The Italian division of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with facilities in Rome (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at San Pietro FBF, oncology radiotherapy and UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital), Palermo (ISMETT IRCCS, organ transplants and highly specialized therapies and Ri.MED Foundation, research), Chianciano Terme (UPMC Institute for Health, preventive medicine and Medical Gym), Mirabella Eclano (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Villa Maria, oncology radiotherapy).


UPMC is an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Its deep clinical, operational, and managerial expertise, combined with real-world experience, has made UPMC a leading health care provider in the United States. UPMC International shares clinical, technological, and managerial knowledge and expertise with partners across the globe customizing solutions to build the best possible health care for patients, close to home.

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