Solving the Obesity Epidemic

Solving the Obesity Epidemic

  • Per the CDC:
  • "* The prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016. * Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. 

    *The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

    *Hispanics (47.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by non-Hispanic whites (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asians (12.7%).

    *The prevalence of obesity was 35.7% among young adults aged 20 to 39 years, 42.8% among middle-aged adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 41.0% among older adults aged 60 and older.

    *Overall, men and women with college degrees had lower obesity prevalence compared with those with less education.

    *By race/ethnicity, the same obesity and education pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women, and also among non-Hispanic white men, although the differences were not all statistically significant. Although the difference was not statistically significant among non-Hispanic black men, obesity prevalence increased with educational attainment. Among non-Hispanic Asian women and men and Hispanic men there were no differences in obesity prevalence by education level.

    *Among men, obesity prevalence was lower in the lowest and highest income groups compared with the middle income group. This pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men. Obesity prevalence was higher in the highest income group than in the lowest income group among non-Hispanic black men.

    *Among women, obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group than in the middle and lowest income groups. This pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women, there was no difference in obesity prevalence by income." 
There are both physical and financial strain that come along with the obesity epidemic.  I believe we've been fighting effects rather than fixing the cause(s).
Controlling Hunger
If you want to fix the obesity problem, you have to address hunger.  In other words, we have to figure out why people are overeating.  Are people overeating because they're lazy or gluttons?  I don't think so.  If you look deeper, we have the answer.
If you ever watched the show, My 600 Pound Life, all of the patients who are applying for weight loss surgery all say the same thing.  They claim that regardless of how much food they eat, they're always hungry.  Some of these people are eating upwards of 30,000 calories per day.  How can a human eat that much food but always be hungry?  The answer is they're eating foods that are keeping them hungry.  
Stay with me, here.
There are foods that satiate (give us feelings of fullness) and foods that do not, regardless of calories.  Certain types of nutrients will have a different metabolic effect and fate than others.  Calories are relevant, they're just not as relevant as the hormonal and thermic effect of food.  
The problem with obesity is overeating.  The problem with overeating is consuming the wrong types of food.  Calorie restriction diets don't work long term because the types of nutrients aren't considered.  You can eat a 1200 calorie per day diet of nothing but twinkies and you'll be hungry all the time.  Eventually, you cave because of hunger.  Calorie restriction diets or point system plans do not address nutrient quality.  If you're eating the right foods, foods that are nutrient dense that satiate, you'll be satisfied longer and you'll eat less.  
For example, it's very easy to eat 600 calories of ice cream.  It's more challenging to eat 600 calories of eggs.  For reference, one whole egg has about 70 calories.  That's about 8-9 eggs.  Eating that many eggs in one sitting is not easy.  The biggest reason you'll feel full after eating eggs is of the type of nutrients they have.  Eggs will affect certain metabolic pathways/hormones that tell our bodies we've had enough.  Ice cream doesn't do that.  Maybe temporarily, but if you've ever had a big serving of ice cream, you're hungry again in an hour.  
The point is, you have to change the types of food you're eating first.  Foods that are satiating and provide quality nutrition have to be prioritized.  Eating foods that keep you hungry will cause you to eat more.  On the same token, these foods that keep you hungry are also contributing to the disease process.  
As always, we're here to help.  There's no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition.  Each individual has to have their specific needs addressed.  For customized plans to suit your needs, contact us

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