Understanding the American Obesity Epidemic

Nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States deal with the health and emotional effects of obesity every day. The solution to this problem may sound misleadingly simple- eat less calories during the day and exercise more…but it’s not that easy. The body’s regulation of food consumption is a highly complex biologic system, designed to promote food intake and survival. Organs such as the stomach, intestines and fat send signals to the brain saying “I’m hungry” or “I’m full”; however recent research shows that obese individuals have less ability to recognize these cues resulting in overeating. At this point stress along with other factors play a huge role in the weight loss process.

Overall obesity is defined as having abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. It is a multi-factorial disorder which typically occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. Other factors include genes, environment (lifestyle), physical inactivity, age, medication, medical issues, etc. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers, just to name a few. Obesity may also reduce overall quality of life. The high amount of body fat that is present with obesity makes it harder for internal organs to work well. But the good news is, even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of a person’s weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.

To get your personalized weight management program, come see our Registered Dietitian today.


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