Growing Obesity Problem
Not that you want to do it yourself, but how do people grow the size of two or more humans? The first clue is outgrowing your wardrobe. If you have been underweight for some time, you may welcome some extra pounds.
Soon, you become satisfied with just a few outfits. Then you begin purchasing loose-fit oversize clothing. Depending on your height, this could go on as 50 pounds creep up on you.
After you blast past obese on the BMI chart, things others take for granted become difficult—like getting out of bed and walking. Breathing can get laborious. Depression may intensify a desire to consume unhealthy foods.
While society strives to be satisfied with a variety of body types, doctors continually study adverse results of obesity. One theory is that “Obesity leads to chronic systemic inflammation, which could provide a permissive environment for tumor growth.”
Medical Reasons For Obesity
Some medical conditions that exacerbate weight gain are hypothyroidism, lymphedema, diabetes treatment, Cushing’s syndrome, fluid retention, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Certain medications, notably steroids, and also some antidepressants, antipsychotics, high blood pressure drugs, and seizure medications may also increase body weight. Chronic pain can limit mobility, therefore a reduction in exercise.
Social Reasons For Obesity
Though fat cells do not discriminate among pocket books, poorer neighborhoods often have limited access to healthy foods. Processed foods that are high in sugar and sodium contribute to weight gain. Rather than being obesity’s sole cause, hereditary genes seem to increase the risk of weight gain and interact with other environmental risk factors, such as unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles.
“Additionally, environments experiencing deprivation, disorder, or high crime have shown to be associated with higher odds of obesity, which may appear more frequently in low social status individuals,” according to Alexandria Lee, et al.
Physical activity that burns more calories than consumed can protect against weight gain, but there is a global decline in sufficient exercise. Lack of sleep is also emerging as a risk factor for obesity. So poor nutrition paired with limited and infrequent exercise are primary factors that lead to obesity. Ignoring the scale, weight can creep up 10 to 20 pounds per year.
The more important question you might pose to a gastroenterology professional is, “How do people reverse morbid obesity?” Many people turn to bariatric surgery. Surgery is not going to alter people’s behavior toward food. A change in personal mindset with a switch to healthy habits breaks the cycle. It is a life-long behavioral adjustment.
A 15-year followup on bariatric patients revealed a correlation in skin cancer reduction as a side benefit. There may be residual stretch marks. In some cases excess skin must be surgically removed. But these added side effects are a small price to pay to make you feel better.
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- Nine medical reasons for putting on weight. nhs.uk
- Medical Causes of Obesity. webmd.com
- Sahoo K, Sahoo B, Choudhury AK, Sofi NY, Kumar R, Bhadoria AS. Childhood obesity: causes and consequences. J Family Med Prim Care. 2015;4(2):187-192. doi:10.4103/2249-4863.154628
- Obesity Prevention Source. hsph.harvard.edu
- Social and Environmental Factors Influencing Obesity. Alexandra Lee, BS, et al. October 12, 2019, nih.gov
- Take it from someone who has been morbidly obese: this is what overweight people actually need to hear. independent.co.uk
- My 600-lb Life: False things you can stop believing. nature.com
- The humbling experience of treating obesity: Should we persist or desist? Kelly D. August, 2010, www.sciencedirect.com
- Inspiring Celebrity Weight Loss Transformations. thedelite.com
- Weight loss surgery reduces skin cancer risk. medicalnewstoday.com
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