Can we do anything about Obesity?

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Submitted by Dr T on October 27, 2011 – 2:51pm

Question: 
“I hardly eat anything, but can’t seem to lose weight

Yesterday at the gym, I had a chance to speak with a man I have seen shrink in size during the past few years from serious obesity to what looks like half his original weight. I was curious to find out how he had achieved losing what proved to be 125lbs (from 365lbs). Presently at around 240lbs, he was still working hard to lose more weight. He said: ” I have been heavy all my life and now I am at it seven days a week. In retirement, exercizing at the Gym has become my daily job.” As far as diet was concerned, he cut out red meat as his only change. He got the message something had to change when he became a SCD survivor.

This discussion has prompted a review of the recent obesity literature as well as the new dietary guidelines:

There are more than 1.5 billion overweight adults, including 400 million world-wide. A new study, published in NEJM, suggests that diet and exercise alone is not particularly effective in the treatment of obesity. The study showed that obese dieters regained much of their original weight after one year. The authors concluded that although dietary restriction often results in initial weight loss, the majority of dieters failed to maintain their reduced weight, perhaps because of hormones involved in the regulation of body weight, and not simply be the result of the voluntary resumption of old habits.

(Among other things, body weight is regulated by hormones released from the GI tract, pancreas, and fat tissue integrated, primarily in the hypothalamus. Hormones that regulate food intake and energy expenditure include leptin and insulin).

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