The tendency of some who have no problem with weight is to view overweight and obese people judgementally and dismiss them as individuals with weak willpower and poor motivation. But is the problem that simple? Are obese people necessarily indolent individuals who avoid any physical exercise? Or in many cases are there other far-reaching causes that are more difficult to control?
Heredity? Environment? Or Both?
The book Food Fight state:” There has long been debate pitting genetics versus environmentin in the genesis of obesity.” What is meant by genetics in this context? Some hold to the theory that the human body nature store excess calories for possible future needs. The source continues:”the genetics of obesity has been studied for decades… Much research now been done on human genes and obesity. Sophisticated techniques are being used to identify genes that predispose people to weight gain and to diseases like diabetes. In scientific parlance, 25 percent to 40 percent of the variability in population body weight can be explained by genes.” The book continues:” Given that obesity is usually blamed on personal failing, these numbers undersore the importance of biology, but still, 60 percentor or more of the influence can be attributed to the environment.” This means that a major factor in obesity is still the person’s life-style. Does the individual take in more calories than he or she expends each day? Are the wrong kinds of food being consumed on a regular basis? Is time set aside each day for moderate exercise?
The Mayo Clinic explai the cause of obesity in simple terms:”Genes may set the stage for overweight or obesity, but your body weight or obesity ultimately is determined by your diet and physical activity. Over the long term, eating excess calories, leading a sedentary lifetsyle, or a combination of both lead to obesity.” (italics ours.) The same source continues:” Your heredity doesn’t mean you’re destined to be fat… No matter what your genes say, it is ultimately your choices in nutrition and activity that will determine your weight.”
The weight-loss industry generate millions of dollars as desperate people seek to regain their former figure. Yet, what do experts say about these programs? “obesity is very difficult to treat, and most people who lose weight do not keep it off,” says the book Food Fight. ” The most optimistic estimates are that 25 percent [one in four]lose weight and maintainthe loss, often requiring many tries.”
Danger of Obesity
obesity can lead to severe health problems. Dr Scott Loren-Selcoa neurologist at the University of southern Carlifornia Medical Center, warns of the danger of Type 2 diabetes for even young people who are obese. He says:” We are seeing it all the time now, and believe me, it is frightening. I tell [obesity patients]that I could take them up to the diabetes ward and show them their possible future: the blindthe amputees, the endless number of people who are completely infirm because of type 2 [diabetes]-and who are all obese.” What is one contributing factor? ” They can afford supersized burgers and fries- and so they get, ” says Loren-Selco. ‘There’s no one out there telling them it is wrong-certainly not the fast-food companies, and, frankly, certainly not most physician, who still aren’t trained in nutrition.”
Dr. Edward Taub, a well-known writer on nutrition, states:” It has recently become more fashionable, and even politically correct, to believe that being overweight is just a normal and acceptable part of modern life. This is truly an amazing public relations feat accomplished by the economic interests that thrive on fattening us.”
Experts say that those who are “pear-shaped.” carrying extra fat at the hips, may be healthier than those who are “apple-shaped,” having fat distributed around the abdominal organs (especialli if the waist esceeds 89 to 101 centimeters). Why? Because “fat in your abdomen increases your risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer,” says the book Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight. “If you have a pear -large hips, tighs and buttocks- your health risks are not as high.”
So, what is the solution for the millions of adults and children worldwide who are overweight and in danger of serious health complication? Is there an effective remedy?