According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 2 in every 3 adults are either overweight or have obesity. These are alarming statistics. Despite the obvious risks associated with being overweight and obese, many people cannot seem to find a permanent solution to help them lose weight. At Anazao MD in Steamboat Springs, CO, we have a medical weight loss program to help you shed off the unwanted pounds.
Being Overweight: Causes and Risks
Several factors contribute to adult obesity. Some causes are individual while others are societal. Some of the individual causes of adult obesity include dietary choices, medication, physical activity, inactivity and genetics. Societal causes include food and physical activity environment, food marketing and promotion, and education and skills.
Obesity is the leading killer in the United States and many other countries all over the world. It is the leading cause of life-threatening conditions such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer. Diabetes is also linked with poor mental health and a poor quality of life.
Here are some causes of adult obesity:
Two of the biggest contributors to adult obesity are an unhealthy dietary pattern and inadequate physical activity. These two factors lead to an energy imbalance since the calories from food and drinks are not fully utilized because of physical inactivity. The unused calories cause excess weight gain.
A person’s community and environment influences their behavior and life choices. One may want to cycle to work or walk to the store, but if their neighborhood lacks safe bike trails or sidewalks, it may not be feasible.
Other social factors that influence behavior and decisions include healthcare, home, school, workplace and child care. When these factors do not promote a healthy lifestyle, people in such settings are likely to become obese.
Sometimes it is not even your fault. While we cannot blame genetics for all obesity cases, research shows that genes are responsible for the development of obesity in some people. Genes control the body’s reaction to environmental changes.
Some genes can activate hunger, forcing people to eat even when it is not necessary. A complex interaction between multiple inherited genes and the surrounding environment can lead to obesity. Health care professionals routinely observe that family health history has an influence on conditions associated with obesity.
Diseases and Drugs
Diet and physical inactivity are not the only influences on adult obesity. Some medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing’s disease, and several drugs including steroids and some antidepressants, cause unhealthy weight gain.
Risks Associated With Obesity
Type 2 Diabetes
Almost 90% of the people who suffer from type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Although it is not clear why diabetes is most prevalent in people who are overweight or obese, health professionals believe these conditions cause some changes in the cells, making them resistant to the insulin hormone.
Insulin transports sugar from the blood to the cells where it is converted to energy. People who are insulin resistant have a problem converting sugar to energy, resulting in high blood sugar.
High Blood Pressure
The bigger you are, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood in all parts of your body, leading to high blood pressure. Excess fat also has a negative impact on the kidneys.
This causes more health problems, since kidneys are responsible for regulating blood pressure. Unfortunately, despite high blood pressure causing serious conditions such as stroke, kidney failure and heart disease, it usually has no symptoms.
Heart disease covers several conditions that affect the heart including hardening and narrowing of blood vessels. Heart disease also refers to other conditions that interfere with the normal activities of the heart such as pumping blood.
Heart disease causes heart attack, chest pains, heart failure, cardiac death and abnormal heart rhythm. Health conditions associated with being overweight such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase the risk for developing heart disease.
A stroke occurs when blood is prevented from reaching some brain cells, resulting in their death. Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, occurs when blood fails to reach the brain because of a blood clot.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when one of the blood vessels in the brain bursts. High blood pressure is the biggest contributor to stroke. Other conditions associated with being overweight, such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels and heart disease, are also significant contributors to stroke.
Cancer occurs when cells grow out of control or abnormally in one part of the body. Cancer is the second biggest killer in the United States. Some cancers are related to an increase in weight in adults. Hormones from fat cells may alter cell growth leading to cancer. Here are some types of cancer associated with weight gain:
- Colon and rectum
- Breast (after menopause)
People who suffer from sleep apnea experience one or more pauses in breathing while asleep. Excess fat stored around the neck restricts the airways making breathing difficult and noisy.
In some cases, this fat prevents breathing for a while. Additionally, excess fat in the neck and other parts of the body causes some inflammation leading to sleep apnea.
Fatty Liver Disease
Also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, fatty liver disease occurs when there are excessive deposits of fat in the liver leading to cirrhosis, severe liver damage and liver failure.
If a woman is overweight or obese during a pregnancy, it increases the risks of developing pregnancy problems which can affect her and her baby. Such women may be exposed to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and have an increased need for C-section.
Their babies are exposed to neural tube defects and at risk for stillbirth or being born too soon. The baby is also highly likely to become overweight or obese in the future.
Medical Weight Loss
After highlighting the most common causes and risks associated with being overweight, it is time to look at long-term solutions. While it is easy for some people to lose weight, others are not as lucky.
The latter group of people may try out several weight-loss diets and exercise programs with little to no success. Many of them eventually give up, but you shouldn’t before trying out a medical weight loss program.
Benefits of Medical Weight Loss
Some people automatically associate the term medical with surgical procedures. However, a medical weight loss program does not necessarily involve surgery. The only time you should consider procedures such as lap band and gastric bypass surgery is if you have exhausted all other non-surgical options. While surgical options are effective when trying to lose weight, they pose some risks, and it takes a long time to recover after undergoing such procedures.
Customized Weight Loss Plan
In our weight loss program, we do not follow a one-size-fits-all approach. Every client gets a customized weight loss plan that caters to their specific needs. We review your medical history and lifestyle and design a weight loss process that reflects your weight loss goals.
We put into consideration your dietary and physical activity preferences and incorporate these into your weight loss plan.
Advice on Weight-Related Health Problems
As we had mentioned earlier, there are several health complications resulting from weight gain. While under a medical weight loss program, you get advice on any related complications.
For example, if you have developed weight-related health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, you receive advice on how to control these conditions with less medication. We monitor your weight loss progress and give you recommendations on reducing dosages.
Safe and Effective Exercise Techniques
Physical exercise can cause serious long-term injuries when done the wrong way. Many people hurt themselves while exercising because they are not aware of safe practices. In a medical weight loss program, all exercises happen under the supervision of a professional and are designed to deliver maximum results without causing any injuries.
Since we review your medical history before starting you on the exercises, we consider your fitness level, your physical form and other conditions such as chronic pain and heart conditions.
Constant Motivational Support
Weight loss is not a walk in the park, and for most people, giving up is the easiest way out. However, when you join our program, we keep encouraging and motivating you until you achieve your goals. Once you sign up, your weight loss goals become our goals, and we work relentlessly with you without allowing you to give up.
Extra Help for Eating Disorders
Some people have an unbreakable bond with food. They cannot seem to stay away from food. This develops into compulsive eating habits or eating disorders. The stronger your relationship with food, the harder it is to lose weight. Fortunately, you can access the services of a counselor while in a medical weight loss program to help you break this unhealthy bond.
Help With Hunger and Cravings
Besides efforts to keep you full for longer periods of time using a protein and fiber-based diet, we also design safe and authentic techniques to reduce hunger, speed up your metabolism and curb cravings.
Access to Prescription Medications if Needed
One of the benefits of enrolling in a medical weight loss program is the ability to access safe prescription medications when necessary. Sometimes clients are not satisfied with the progress they are making through dietary changes and exercises. They instead opt to boost these with medical prescriptions.
In such cases, a professional reviews your medical history and your current progress and compares them with your weight loss goals. They then prescribe medication that compliments your diet and exercise efforts.
Health and Aesthetic Results
While in a medical weight loss program, you can feel and see the progress you are making. This may not happen right away, but after a while, you will feel healthier and you will also notice you have more energy to engage in activities you love. You will also develop new, healthier habits that will contribute to an improved physical appearance.
Being overweight poses some serious health risks. In the United States and in other developed countries, the number of people considered overweight or obese is alarming and has led to a health crisis.
There have been efforts from various sources to curb this menace, but it is all in vain if individuals do not take personal initiative. Take control of your life by making a personal decision to lose unhealthy weight. If normal diet adjustments and regular exercise are not doing much for you, pay us a visit at Anazao MD in Steamboat Springs, CO for a working long-term solution.