The last few days I have either gotten some things forwarded or stumbled over some information that has really challenged my thinking around obesity.
This article by Dr. Lee M. Kaplan MD is one I really appreciate. I would like to highlight two quotes by this doctor and specialist in obesity:
“The simple fact is that obesity is a disease, a chronic, frequently progressive, and rarely remitting disorder that triggers an additional 65 or more other conditions ranging from arthritis and sleep apnea to many forms of cancer.”
“Unfortunately, addressing the nation’s obesity epidemic is not an easy fix. As with cancer, there are many subtypes of obesity, each with different causes, clinical characteristics, and susceptibility to specific therapies. This complexity means that a one-size-fits-all approach is not destined to succeed, and the long sought-after silver bullet is unlikely to materialize.”
So here are some things I am learning through my studies, conversations and questions. So often obesity is the result of underlying hormonal disease. In those cases – including diabetes and insulin resistance – obesity is a symptom of the disease. IE, the disease directly causes obesity. Our prior thinking had us focus on obesity as the cause of diabetes, now research is leading us to think it is sometimes opposite.
One thing that really made sense to me as I started to study this is when we are insulin resistant then our body does not respond appropriately to the energy we eat. Because we do not respond correctly to what we eat, we continue to feel hungry and then eat more. In fact, this “hunger response” is real, because I bodies do not process what we give it. If you or someone you know seem to crave bigger portions and / or eat more often please have your doctor check your fasting insulin levels.
There are apparently 32 individual genes that impacts obesity, and because we get two sets of genes – 64 mutations of those genes. All directly impacting our waist line.
Obesity it seems is a complex genetic, hormonal, environmental and socio-economic disease.
It is time that the complex relationships between our hormones, genes, life style and obesity is fully studied so we can better alleviate the problem.