Obesity has risen over the past decade for American teenagers, but a new study suggests that other leading indicators of diseases such as diabetes have actually declined, likely due to improved eating habits. 

A study published in Pediatrics, the medical journal of the American Academy of Pediatricians, found that the severity of cases of Childhood Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) steadily decreased between 1999 and 2012. MetS is a diagnosis given to a person who has at least three of five medical conditions: high belly fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low HDL levels. 

While the frequency of MetS did not significantly change, fewer teens were diagnosed with particularly severe cases of it. That is largely attributable to higher overall levels of HDL — often dubbed "good cholesterol"— and lower levels of triglycerides. 

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