In general, overweight and obesity indicates a weight that is greater than is healthy. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other minor functions, but being obese goes far beyond normal body fat. Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat which is unhealthy and causes all kinds of health issues, and that’s why we’ve come up with an easy-to-use Treatments To Obesity plan. Obesity, according to Wikipedia
is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it is a negative effect on health.
Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other serious medical conditions.
The bottom line is, being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.
The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Healthy dietary changes, increased physical activity, proper rest, and behavior changes can help you lose weight. Prescription medications and weight-loss surgery are additional options for treating obesity, but really not necessary.
Obesity is diagnosed when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Your body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat but has some limitations according to the CDC. Factors such as age, sex ethnicity, and muscle mass can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat.
For more information on BMI or to calculate your BMI, refer to this Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article.
However, as an example of a BMI limitation, BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, so some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obese category even though they don’t have excess body fat. Ask your doctor if your BMI is a problem. You and your provider can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options. The goal of treatment should be to achieve and maintain a “healthier weight,” not necessarily an ideal weight.
Obesity An Epidemic
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, according to the CDC. Over one-thirds (39.8 percent), or 93.3 million of adults are overweight or obese, and almost a fifth (18.5 percent) of American children and teens are clinically obese.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed those statistics that one in three Americans is obese. The prevalence of obesity in children has increased markedly. Obesity has also been increasing rapidly throughout the world, and the incidence of obesity nearly doubled from 1991 to 1998.
Causes of Obesity
Although there are genetic, behavioral and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat, causing weight gain.
Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. However, these disorders are rare and, in general, the principal causes of obesity are:
Lack of Physical Activity. Sedenentary people burn fewer calories than people who are active. If you’re not very active, you aren’t able to burn as many calories. With a sedenentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you use through exercise and normal daily activities, leading to being overweight and the risk of health issues and disease.
Unhealthy Diet and Poor Eating Habits. Weight gain is inevitable if you regularly eat more calories than you burn. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if what you consume is high in fat. Foods high in fat and sugar, such as convenience foods, fast foods, processed foods, fried foods, and sweets, are considered high energy-density fat foods and low in nutrient-density.
And besides, these convenience or processed foods are also prepared to be very tasty, on purpose, so you’re always prone to buy more and eat more, not less, adding to the risk of gaining excessive weight, as confirmed by an 2019 NIH review.
You could almost call the excessive and overeating of convenience foods an addiction, because many of these highly tasty or sugar-sweetened foods stimulate the reward centers in the brain releasing the “feel-good” hormone dopamine, according to a study in Neuroscience and an NIH study. Simple carbs are easily digested and increase blood glucose levels, which in turn, stimulates insulin release. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
Insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue, because the foods are more rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, causing more insulin to release, promoting more fat growth. Americans’ “Western diet” causes insulin-resistance in overweight and obese people, elevating insulin throughout the body, causing energy to be stored in fat cells instead of being used, according to an NIH study.
And, most Americans’ diets are too high in calories and are full of fast food and high-calorie, sugary beverages. The NIH confirmed in another couple of studies of high-sugars and impact on insulin resistance: “Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia” and “Effects of fructose vs glucose on regional cerebral blood flow in brain regions….”
Rapid globalization, urbanization and industrialization have spawned epidemics of obesity, diabetes and their attendant co-morbidities, as physical inactivity and dietary imbalance unmask latent predisposing genetic traits,
quoting an NIH study. In another study this is what the NIH said
For example, we could attempt to limit national production and import of sugar-sweetened beverages, tax sugar-sweetened beverages, or restrict fast food restaurant zoning.
Poor Sleep Habits. Not getting enough sleep, or getting too much sleep, can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite, according to the National Institutes Of Health review
Sleep deprivation has also been associated with higher risks of weight gain and obesity in recent years.
Genetics and Heridity. Certain people are just predisposed through heredity to gain weight per this NIH study. Obesity has a strong genetic component but that doesn’t mean it’s completely predetermined. Your diet, like American’s Western diet, for example, the genes don’t change but the environment (diet) and the signals to the genes did, and it has a major effect on which genes are expressed and which are not. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese, however.
Studies, like this NIH study, confirmed that genes did effect susceptibility to gaining weight. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For example, one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells and in the placenta. Leptin controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high according to a 2007 Obesity Review study (NIH).
If, for some reason, the body of obese people cannot produce enough leptin or leptin cannot signal the brain to eat less because it can’t cross the blood-brain barrier, this condition is called leptin resistance and control is lost, and obesity continues, as explained in an NIH study. In healthy people, high leptin levels is linked to reduced appetite because it’s working properly and telling your brain how high your fat stores are. The role of leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration.
Prescriptions and Medications. In general, pharmaceutical drugs are associated with weight gain per this NIH study. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants, anticonvulsants, to control seizures, some diabetes meds, certain hormone meds such as oral contraceptives, some hypertension meds, and antihistamines.
An example of an anti-diabetic medication causing weight gain can be found in this study. According to a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study, antidepressant are associated with significant weight gain, and so does this NIH study. It’s not that these pharmaceuticals reduce your will power, it’s the fact they alter the function of one’s body and brain, changing your metabolic rate and increasing appetite, like the children in this NIH study.
Psychological Reasons. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger or depression. According to the CDC, 43 percent of adults with depression are also obese.
Adults with depression are more likely to be obese than those who don’t have depression. Additionally, the proportion of adults with obesity increased with the severity of depressive symptoms. Can you see the paradox here? Depressed adults are prescribed antidepressants which makes them feel better about their depression, but it causes them to gain weight, and gaining weight, they feel bad about themselves, resulting in more depressive behavior.
In one American Psychological Association (APA) study, obesity in women was associated with a 37 percent increase in major depression. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30 percent of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating and obese people with binge eating problems, it was found that 51 percent also had a history of major depression. Quoting the APA study:
Binge eating, a behavior associated with both obesity and other conditions such as anorexia nervosa, is also a symptom of depression.
There is a link between social issues and environmental factors and obesity. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity, per Harvard Medical School research. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or taught convenience foods are not good for you, or you may not have money to buy healthier foods, although convenience foods aren’t that cheap either.
In addition, the people you spend time with may influence your weight, you’re more likely to become obese if you have obese friends or relatives, according to Harvard Medical School research. Quoting the study:
Smoking Cessation. Quitting smoking is often associated with weight gain. And for some, it can lead to enough weight gain that the person becomes obese. In the long run, however, quitting smoking is still a greater benefit to your health than continuing to smoke.
Aging. Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children. But as you age, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity. A decrease in production of growth hormones has been considered an important contributory cause of body or muscle mass decline in the elderly, per an NIH study. In addition, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age and lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism.
A study published in the journal of Applied Psychology of 959 people found that people age 70 had 20 pounds less muscle mass and 11 percent lower resting metabolism than people aged 40. Another reason is aging of internal components. These changes also reduce calorie needs, and can make it harder to keep off excess weight. The 4 above reasons for gaining weight as your age as outlined above, are in an NIH study. Quoting the study:
It may also be possible to delay the aging process of various physiological functions by change of dietary habits, stopping smoking, and physical activity.
If you don’t consciously control what you eat and become more physically active as you age, you’ll likely gain weight. The CDC reported that 25 percent of Americans age 50 to 75 don’t do any physical activity outside of work, and that percentages increased to over a third in 75 and older.
Health Risks and Complications
Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is harmful to one’s health, as it is a risk factor for many conditions. And, that’s why it’s vitally important you fully understand the causes and be willing to implement the solutions offered in our Treatments To Obesity.
The choice is yours! One 2014 study published PLOS Medicine, led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), found that people with class III (or extreme) obesity had a dramatic reduction in life expectancy compared with people of normal weight.
Quoting the study:
While once a relatively uncommon condition, the prevalence of class III, or extreme, obesity is on the rise. In the United States, for example, 6 percent of adults are now classified as extremely obese.
said Cari Kitahara, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, and lead author of the study.
Prior to our study, little had been known about the risk of premature death associated with extreme obesity.
Obesity also increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases and other complications, including the following:
Type 2 Diabetes. In a study 86 percent of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obest, because of the inability to properly use insulin and control blood sugar. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity.
Hypertension. Hypertension is common among obese adults, and in women, weight gain, tended to increase blood pressure more significantly than in men. One NIH study (Framingham) concluded that both men and women had an increase in blood pressure with increased or excessive weight.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, 68 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, and it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality due to hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular and renal diseases.
High Cholesterol. Being overweight or obese tend to increase bad colesterol (LDL) and decrease good colesterol (HDL), or, high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Per an NIH study, obesity increases cardiovascular risk through risk factors such as increased fasting plasma triglycerides, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood glucose and insulin levels and high blood pressure.
Stroke. In obese people, sometimes blood clots form restricting oxygen-rich blood flow to a portion of the brain, damaging that portion of the brain making it unable to function. One NIH study found obesity increases risk of ischemic stroke in young adults.
This report adds to the concern that younger individuals may be experiencing an increased stroke risk resulting from increasing levels of obesity and accompanying co-morbidities and supports the need for vigorous public health initiatives to reverse this trend. According to an AHA Journal report, incidence of stroke increases with obesity and is more prevalent in middle-aged individuals than in older individuals.
Heart Disease. Obesity is linked to coronary heart disease risk factors of hypertension and high cholesterol levels. As stated in this NIH study,
Patients who are obese are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and therefore…..
One NIH study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased three to four times in women who had a BMI greater than 29.
Cancer. Obesity is a risk factor for cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, cancer of the gall bladder, cervix, ovaries, and uterus in women. In an NIH study, both of general and central obesity were positively associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) in men and women in this meta-analysis.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), confirmed that some studies have found that obese men may be at greater risk for having more advanced prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer, but not all studies have found this. Another NIH review found that obesity was also associated with an increased risk of death from cancers of the stomach and prostate in men and from cancers of the breast (postmenopausal), uterus, cervix, and ovary in women.
Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen, increases the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent, particularly in obesity in postmenopausal women per an NIH study. Cancer caused by obesity can also develop in the esophagus, liver, pancreas, stomach and kidneys.
Gallstones. Or gallbladder disease. Being overweight or obese makes it more likely to develop gallstones, especially in women, because of the higher level of unhealthy cholesterol in the bile. The NIH concluded that the rising epidemic of obesity and the metabolic syndrome predicts an escalation of cholesterol gallstone frequency.
Sleep Apnea. Breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, is very serious. More than half of the people with sleep apnea are either overweight or obese, and it’s due to decreased levels of oxygen in the blood, and/or restrictions in the mouth and throat because of soft fatty tissue.
The NIH confirmed the connection of obesity and reduced sleep duration. The study found weight loss has been accompanied by improvement in characteristics related not only to obesity but to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) as well, suggesting that weight loss might be a cornerstone of the treatment of both conditions. As they say…”you’ll be killing 2 birds with one stone”.
Gout. Obese individuals produce more insulin, inhibiting the elimination of uric acid from the kidneys, which leads to gout, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Metabolic Syndrone. It is a specific condition which occurs resulting in a combination of high blood sugar, hypertension, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol, as this NIH study states,
The lifestyle factors that increase intra-abdominal fat and metabolic risk factors are weight gain, a diet high in saturated fat, smoking, inactivity and excess alcohol intake….
Osteoarthrites. Degenerative arthrites of the knees, hips, and the lower back develops with obesity, according to an NIH review. The most significant impact of obesity on the musculoskeletal system is associated with osteoarthritis (OA), a disabling degenerative joint disorder characterized by pain, decreased mobility and negative impact on quality of life.
Quality of Life.
Other overweight-related issues that may affect your quality of life include depression, disability, sexual problems, shame and guilt, social isolation, and lower work achievement. A University of South Australia found the strongest evidence that obesity causes depression. Body shame from obesity, directly, clearly, and repeatedly predicts depression symptom levels in children, per an NIH study.
According to a Endocrinology study, social isolation can be included in the environmental factors that contribute to the development of obesity, and if that’s the case, it would be logical to conclude, that the reverse is true as well. Obesity causes social isolation, most likely because of shame and guilt.
An NIH study found in most population-based studies, erectile dysfunction (ED) is more common among obese men than among men of recommended weight. Some studies reviewed by NIH that include both genders generally report more sexual dysfunction problems among women, and most weight loss studies demonstrate improvement in sexual functioning concurrent with weight reduction despite varying study designs, weight loss methods, and follow-up periods. That’s the good news!
Whether you’re at risk of becoming obese, currently overweight, or at a healthy weight, you can take steps offered in our Treatments To Obesity, to prevent unhealthy weight gain and related health problems because the suggestions we’re offering, really do work.
Not surprisingly, the steps to prevent weight gain are the same as the steps to lose weight: daily exercise, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and a long-term commitment to watch what you eat and drink by establishing good habits.
It is not necessary to achieve an “ideal weight” to derive health benefits from not being obese. Instead, the goal should be to reach and hold to a “healthier weight.” The emphasis of treatment should be to commit to the process of lifelong healthy living, including eating more wisely, increasing physical activity, and sleeping properly.
Moderate Regular Exercise. You need to get 150 minimum (30 minutes a day five days a week), to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week to prevent weight gain. Moderately intense physical activities include fast walking and swimming. To get the full story on all the health benefits of a regular moderate exercise program, read this article, Benefits In Being In Nature.”
Regular endurance exercise is particularly effective in preventing metabolism slowdown and weight gain in not only the young women(21-35 years old), but also in older adult women (50-72), according to a NIH study. Another NIH study showed the importance of retaining muscle mass particularly as you age, and that means keeping a regular physical activity routine.
A Louisiana Healthy Aging study reviewed by the NIH found that individuals age 50 to 74 burned only 24 fewer calories while those over 90 years of age, burned 54 fewer calories on average day. As you grow older you simply burn less calories. Another major benefit of maintaining physical activity as you age is preventing slowdown of metabolism, which were determined in an NIH study that found both men and women who were less active, burned 115 fewer calories per each decade of aging. Point being, the older you are the more you need routine physical activity to keep the weight off.
Eat A Healthy Nutritious Diet.
But, first things first. Avoid or at least reduce consumption to only occasionally, of convenience or processed foods because numerous studies have shown they are detrimental to your health as follows: unhealthy processed or refined foods, or precooked foods, high-sugar, processed meats, or high-sodium foods, fried foods, or microwavable foods. or simple or refined carbohydrates to lower insulin levels.
This usually leads to automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss, per 2 NIH studies: Study 1 and study 2. One more example is “The Impact of Western Diet and Nutrients on the Microbiota and Immune Response at Mucosal Interfaces” study.
The NIH found the Westernized diet, defined as high dietary intake of saturated fats and sucrose and low intake of fiber, represent a growing health risk contributing to the increased occurrence of metabolic diseases, diabetes and obesity in countries adapting a westernized lifestyle.
Focus on low-calorie, low-fat, nutrient-dense, animal protein foods, such as fresh, lean, organic, non-GMO, beef or bison or wild game, and dairy products, pork, lamb, and poultry such as chicken, turkey and duck, and eggs (cage-free); and cold-water fish and seafood. Not all proteins are the same and not all meats are the same!
The American public has been mislead for decades about red meat being unhealthy for you, which is totally untrue. When meat is lean, it actually lowers your total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, which you already know is healthier, according to an NIH study.
Quoting the NIH study:
The kind of healthy lean protein meat we’re talking about is lean organic “grass-fed” and “free-range” meats, including dairy and eggs.
Yes, “grain-fed” or “conventional-fed” protein meats are high in saturated fat and unhealthy and should be avoided. For the complete story on good low-fat protein meats vs. bad high-fat protein meats, read “List For High Protein Foods”.
Furthermore, eating more lean protein-rich foods is good for a slowing metabolism by increasing it, preventing weight gain or obesity. The human body burns more calories when consuming, digesting, and absorbing protein-rich foods boosting your metabolism by up to 80 to 100 calories a day, with 25 to 30 percent of what you eat is protein.
Eating a lean protein-rich diet is particularly important to the elderly because it fights an aging metabolism by also preserving muscle mass. Other nutrient-dense foods we recommend are fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, natural herbs and spices, antioxidant drinks and filtered water.
Here are the exact nutrient-dense foods we recommend that will make you trim and healthy: grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A); and organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A). And, reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate. Now, we didn’t say milk chocolate.
Eat three regular meals a day with limited snacking. You can still enjoy small amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods as an infrequent treat. Just be sure to choose foods that promote a healthy weight and good health, most of the time. Identify and resist situations that trigger out-of-control eating or binging.
Get Ample Restful Sleep.
Numerous research shows lack of sleep slows down metabolism, but fortunately, a good nights rest can reverse the effect according to the NIH. Another NIH study showed 4 hours of sleep reduced metabolism by 2.6 percent compared to 10 hours of sleep, and a long sleep of 12 hours, restored metabolism. Another NIH study found that poor or restless sleep increased muscle loss and since muscles influence your RMR (resting metabolism rate) losing muscle can slow down your metabolism, resulting in weight gain.
At least seven or eight hours a night of restful sleep is vital for your physical health, which promotes performance and productivity, strengthens your immune system, for maintaining a healthy weight, and, is essential for balancing your mental state, including mood, emotions, focus, and memory. For a full review on the health benefits of ample restful sleep, read this article, “Best Natural Sleep Remedies”
Monitor Your Weight. People who weigh themselves at least once a week are moresuccessful in keeping off excess pounds. Monitoring your weight can tell you whether your efforts are working and can help you detect small weight gains before they become a bigger problem.
Be Consistent. Sticking to your healthy-weight plan during the week, on the weekends, and amidst vacation and holidays as much as possible, increases your chances of long-term success.
Supplement Your Diet With A Natural Adaptogen.
The natural, organic, nutritious, whole-food Adaptogen,”Peruvian Maca (A) helps to trigger weight loss by enhancing glucose metabolism and thus reduces fat accumulation in the body. The National Institutes Of Health study concluded
Thus, AEM (aqueous extract of black maca) has the potential to be a dietary supplement for preventing or at least slowing lipid and glucose metabolism disorder progression.
However, more studies and clinical trials are needed to support this hypothesis.
Thus it appears to prevent obesity and risk of developing diabetes and other health issues. Study results have indicated a significant reduction in the levels of glucose in the blood and improved glucose tolerance. The activity of glutathione peroxidase was also found to be increased in the blood thus providing an antioxidant effect and protecting cells from oxidation damage.
P Maca consumption provides increased energy to do physical activities without experiencing fatigue. Thus, it helps in triggering exercise-induced weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.
The regulation of hormones by using P Maca has a direct positive effect in triggering weight loss in humans, according to the National Institutes Of Health study, which stated,
The results showed that in addition to reduction in body weight, blood …. stimulate endocrine system helping to maintain hormonal balance
According to the same study conducted on postmenopausal women, it was found that P Maca helps to reduce body weight. The attribute goes to the regulation of certain hormones in the body, such as estrogen. Hormones Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) is found to significantly decrease upon regular P Maca use. Other hormones like progesterone, E2 and FSH are also reduced and help in maintaining proper weight.
Stress and anxiety related weight gain can be avoided by consumption of P Maca, due to its capacity to reduce psychological symptoms, by normalizing bodily functions and balancing stress hormones. For more in depth information on Peruvian Maca read this review:
After you read the reviews, request your Free copy of the e book “The Secret Science of Staying Slim, Sane, and Sexy After 40“, and your 7-night gift trial of “Julva.”
Now that you have learned what causes obesity, and you also now know what to do about it, because of what you learned in “Treatments To Obesity”, are you ready to take action? Are you ready to take some simple, ever-day steps to improve your health? If you have questions, or comments, please address them below.
(A) Use these links for more in depth information, more documented studies, and to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that will allow you to not only loose weight, but also bring you a life of optimal health and wellness.