Could it be that simple? Are some people just born with bodies that resist gaining weight and other people destined to be overweight? Yes!!
66% of adults are now overweight or obese in the US and the fact is that the weight resistant portion of our population is now the minority. Studies published over the past several years have increasingly identified biologic factors that determine whether people are weight resistant or weight prone. This research shines a welcome bright light on the causes of Diabesity (the combined epidemics of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes).
Estimates are that by 2020 as many as 60% of US adults will suffer from Pre-Diabetes or full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. The combined epidemic of Diabetes and Obesity affects us all. Chances are someone you care about suffers from these problems and, based on the statistics, it’s likely that any one of us could already be affected.
Why is this epidemic developing so rapidly? It doesn’t take long to realize that there must be important reasons beyond the repetitive “bad eating habits” and “lack of exercise” explanation that has failed to change our trajectory, despite the fact that every overweight person has undoubtedly tried dieting and exercise…again and again.
Research is showing that weight prone individuals display a myriad of common hormonal imbalances that may influence energy level, hunger, satiety, cholesterol, blood pressure, exercise capacity and inflammation. In weight prone individuals, the body stores excess fat because (false) signals are commanding it to do so. We can’t deny these findings and facts. It’s time to understand why abnormal fat storage happens in the body and we need to develop better methods to reverse the conditions and the epidemic.
But there is reason to be hopeful! It is exciting to treat overweight conditions medically. The goal of treatment is not only to lose excess weight but to restore normal metabolic function, or at least improve that function. We are very encouraged to see that after shifting toward weight resistant metabolisms by diagnosing and treating their underlying hormonal imbalances, a majority of our weight prone patients are losing excess weight, reducing disease risk and improving energy levels. And, they’ve done it without dieting. This is particularly hopeful, especially when research has consistently shown that metabolic function is most frequently impaired through dieting.
Emily Cooper, M.D.