Obesity in general


| 2 Comments

I decided I wanted to blog about obesity, I don't really know why, or what it is that seems so important. But obesity - being overweight - not being "fit" is something that shows up in my news feeds every day. New innovative diets hit the markets all the time that are geared toward calorie intake, sugar intake, carbohydrate intake, etc. So I figure, with obesity being such a huge concern in our society, there must be some good scientific research to back up some of big claims.

Recently I have read articles about doctors who will not see patients who are over a certain weight, or about sleep deprivation leading to insulin deficiency (thus obesity apparently), or the many articles out there related to preventing obesity in children; something that is also a highlight of First Lady Michelle Obama campaign for healthy lifestyles.


obesity.jpg


So what are the highlighted causes of obesity?

Well, the most widely believe reason is sheer laziness (not exercising) and over eating.

Excessive drinking can also lead to weight gain.

There are biological mechanisms

            Cellular / Genetic level

Health problems

            Like (hypothyroidism)

            Diabetes

Some medications

            Like some birth control, antidepressants and anti-psychotics (although this blog says b/c does not lead to weight gain)

Other factors:

            Quitting smoking

            Stress or anxiety

            Menopause

            Post-pregnancy weight

 

And what are some affects that obesity has on the body?

            Type -2 Diabetes

            High blood pressure

            Breathing problems

                        Pulmonary disease

                        Sleep apnea

                        Asthma

            Joint problems

            Musculoskeletal disease

            Coronary Artery disease

            Pregnancy Complications

 

            All of these things can occur or some of them occur is various combinations. Likely they will result in increased medical bills - if you can find a doctor who isn't looking protecting their own skin and will see you.

 

            So I also wonder what studies have been done that have focused, in some way, on obesity. These are the ones I found interesting - although not sure they are entirely accurate...


            This study finds that lack of nutrient rich diets in children leads to impairment in metabolism and fat burning. Seems kind of obvious to me, so it makes sense, but the science jargon makes it hard to comprehend for my non-science brain.


            According to this CNN article obesity can lead to early onset of puberty in girls. -> I could not find the original research done claiming this, but the article explains how it works.


            This study did a comparison of obese African American adults both with and without diabetes. It determined variations in those willing to seek medical advice (more women than men), variations in those that follow medical advice (more often when diagnosed with diabetes than if not), and men with diabetes were more likely to reduce calorie and fat intake than women with diabetes.

I also saw that someone else blogged about whether obesity leads to infertility. I did not come across that in my reading so if you are curious, you should check out that blog.




2 Comments

You're right in that obesity is a very talked about topic. I even did a blog post on it as well. The vicious cycle that you mentioned early on in your blog is definitely one easy route to obesity. However, I believe that obesity can be attributed to both nature and nurture. The nature part of obesity would be the genes received from your parents. According to cdc.gov, "Genes regulate how our bodies capture, store, and release energy from food." Therefore, some people are more likely than others to develop obesity because of the way our bodies react to the food we're consuming. On the other hand, obesity is related to nurture which pertains a little more to your vicious cycle model. According to kpbs.org, people in poorer neighborhoods are more likely to become obese because these neighborhoods are lacking grocery stores while containing a plethora of fastfood joints. Therefore, the option of eating healthy is out of the question. I think research in the area of whether genetics or environment has a bigger effect on obesity would be an interesting area to do further studies on.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/features/obesity/
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/feb/15/researchers-explore-link-between-obesity-and-envir/

Obesity is one of the number one killers in America. America, has this problem way more then any other country. I agree with the comment above that obesity has to do with both Nature and Nurture. Nature with what you were given in your genes, and nurture, what the people in your life are doing to help or cause problems to your obesity. I know that in a lot of families with obese kids, their parents are also obese, or at least someone else in the family is obese.

Another thing to look at is demographics. Are people in lower classes in a higher risk of being obese because of their low income?? A double cheeseburger is $1.05 while a fresh salad with dressing is $7.00, how does that make sense?

You've inpsired me to write about obesity now :)

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