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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

OBESITY, A REAL PROBLEM FOR YOUR HEALTH: AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO WEIGHT PROBLEMS – A SOLUTION

THE LINK BETWEEN HORMONES, WEIGHT AND OBESITY: THE BIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN BODY

OBESITY, A REAL PROBLEM FOR YOUR HEALTH: AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO WEIGHT PROBLEMS – A SOLUTION


“When considering weight management it is paramount to consider the body as a whole and a sum of its parts, and take into account the hormonal, environmental, biological, psychological and spiritual aspects of humanity and how they link to the imbalances that cause weight problems, obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Understanding the impact and role of nutrition, physical activity, sleep, mood, nutraceuticals, supplements, pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs with the ability to put them all together in a context that applies to each individual will guarantee success, prevention of disease, and optimal health.”  – Dr. Margarita Ochoa-Maya

CHANGE IN PARADIGM IS NEEDED TO ADDRESS WEIGHT, OBESITY AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO HORMONES IN OUR BODY


Obesity is a reality we must face today! The World Health Organization, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the American Medical Association have labeled obesity as a DISEASE and an epidemic. 

One in three Americans is affected by weight problems and obesity. More than a quarter, meaning about 25% of Adult Americans have excess weight and are obese, and the prevalence of obesity has increased more than 50% in the past decade. It is estimated that more than 93 million Americans are affected by obesity, and sadly it is also estimated that this number will climb to 120 million within the next 5 years.  This epidemic needs to be addressed as it is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for the future development of complications and diseases related to obesity. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other medical reasons known to increase early death. We should also consider that the overall health and wellbeing of the world, not only biologically but also economically and spiritually is being compromised/ The future appears grim if we don’t address it aggressively.

It is not uncommon in today’s fast paced world, that when a person visits their doctor, he or she will have a very brief visit. The fact is that very rarely is there a discussion about the patient’s obesity or weight concerns. In the short visit, other medical conditions that are a consequence of obesity are discussed instead. This situation has been well documented in research. It is usually the high cholesterol, the high blood pressure, or other ailment that is discussed, documented in the chart and offered a treatment plan. In the short period of time afforded with the doctor at the time of the visit, the physician will have a fleeting opportunity to make an 'intelligent judgment" and then assign a prescription for an identifiable and treatable ailment. This prescription can, and will easily be very expensive or have potential side effects or harm in the form of medical adverse reaction, or allergy.

I propose we deal with this issue by PREVENTING IT, and by providing the people with a choice, awareness and education. Granted, pharmaceuticals are necessary and extremely useful and when it comes to chronic illness, time with the doctor is brief, and discussions on prevention, lifestyle and obesity are left for the end (if there is time remaining). It is much easier to discuss a medication than to try to motive a person to change habits or lifestyle…It takes more from the doctor and there needs to be a motivation to engage the patient. Pharmaceuticals play a significant role in the treatments of obesity. Addressing and treating the co-existing medical conditions associated with weight problems and obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, joint disease and lung disease among many others can be life-saving. On the other hand, there is a great demand for better solutions to address obesity before it starts and becomes a problem. Ideally it is best to prevent it all together, and avoid the inevitable complications that will ensue in the future.

WEIGHT PROBLEMS AND OBESITY A REALITY


It is well established that we have been dealing with a world-wide epidemic of unprecedented proportions when it comes to weight. Over the past 30 years, the rate of obesity has increased exponentially.  It is also well known that weight problems will lead to chronic medical conditions that significantly compromise quality and quantity of life. Awareness campaigns have been quite successful in generating interest and concern regarding obesity, but there is still much work to do. In my experience people are well aware of their weight problems. Throughout a lifetime it is quite common that people struggle with their weight, trying diet after diet with some success yet only to regain it back again. This can ultimately create a great deal of frustration and apathy.

Obesity is a disease. Genetics, environment and hormones influence weight. Excessive weight is associated with other health related problems that can not only create further disease, but also affect quality and quantity of life. Research over time, has linked a person’s weight to future adverse health effects, disease, and even death. Obesity is characterized by excessive body fat and overall body size. Behavior, genetic and environmental factors have been involved.  

Energy is at the cornerstone of understanding obesity. People need energy to keep the body alive and operating in a healthy way. This energy comes in the form of calories from food. The cause of obesity has been postulated to be due to an imbalance between the energy consumed and the energy stored.


The factors that influence this balance between energy consumed and spent are:

1. The energy a person consumes in the form of food, or creates via processes in the liver, can be excessive
2. The unique way each person breaks down this energy, by managing, using and consuming, and finally distributing it throughout the body (their metabolism) can be impaired
3. The way this energy is used or not, in the form of cellular activity and exercise can be limited by inactivity
4. The unique way in which a person stores the unused energy (fat distribution) can be genetically predisposed to be stored in places in which can cause disease- such as the cholesterol plaques that occlude blood vessels causing heart disease and stroke.



Science has shown that altered genes can cause certain disorders that can lead to excess weight and obesity. However, not all individuals affected by gene alterations and are predisposed to obesity become affected. On the other hand, environment plays a key role in shaping a person’s habits and lifestyle. There are many environmental influences that can impact health, some of which a person can control and some of which cannot be controlled. In today’s fast paced world, a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, walking has been replaced by driving, and physical activity has been replaced by technology. Nutrition has been impacted by industrial farming and convenience fast foods.