Weight

Weight Cycling Can Cause Death

Obesity is among the most costly and common chronic disorders around the world. Global obesity has almost tripled since 1975 and, in 2016, nearly 2 billion adults (39 percent of the worldwide adult population) were classified as overweight. Of those 2 billion, 650 million (13 percent) were considered obese.

The 20 countries with the largest percentages of overweight adults are located almost entirely in the Middle East and Oceania (Melanesia, Australasia, Polynesia, and Micronesia).

According to further estimates, one-third of US adults are obese, which also accounts for up to a third of total mortality. Obesity is most prevalent amongst lower income groups and is increasingly affecting children as well.

Obesity misconceptions

Obesity occurs people consume more calories than they spend energy. For this reason, people have typically seen obesity as a result of negative personal traits, such as a lack of will power, laziness, greed, and indulgence.

However, increasing evidence shows that the development of obesity comprises processes that are much more intricate than the passive buildup of extra calories. It is this intricacy that makes obesity so hard to treat. Basically, humans have an inbuilt predisposition to preserve body fat to survive.

In the modern world, where it’s easy to access practically unlimited calories, this physiology has fashioned a large sector of humankind that seems to be biologically disposed to excessive weight gain. Therefore, we see growing tendencies of obesity in developing and developed societies.

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Obesity occurs people consume more calories than they spend energy

No real solutions

An absence of practical solutions for long-term weight reduction amplifies the magnitude of the problem and those who effectively complete dietary and behavioral weight-loss programs ultimately regain most of the weight they lost. According to some estimates, 80 percent of those who lose weight gradually regain it landing up at the weight they were before they embarked on a diet or even heavier.

In a scientific statement “Obesity Pathogenesis” released by the Endocrine Society and published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers assessed the mechanisms that underlie the accumulation of excess body fat, the biological defense of surplus fat mass, and the inclination for the regaining of lost weight.

According to the statement, weight cycling — perpetual gaining and losing weight (usually from diet), is associated with adverse health outcomes, even death.

A key area highlighted is the science behind energy homeostasis — the biological processes that maintain weight constancy by actively matching the intake of energy with the expenditure of energy over time. In other words, obesity is primarily a disruption of the structure of the energy homeostasis and not just a passive outcome from the buildup of excess weight.

If someone loses weight, the body usually increases hunger at the same time as lowering the amount of energy spent while resting, exercising, and going about every day activities. The combination of decreased energy expenditure and hunger produces perfect conditions for weight gain.

In the 16-year cohort study, 3,678 men and women were examined, found that weight cycling is capable of heightening one’s risk of death. However, weight loss due to weight cycling can lower the risk of people with obesity developing diabetes. The health benefits of losing weight surpassed the adverse effects of weight cycling for obese people wishing to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

This finding thwarts traditional research that links obesity and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes is a growing problem in the US, and almost a third of people have prediabetes or diabetes.

According to a new study published January 2019 in Diabetologia by The Ohio State University College of Medicine, “lifestyle and health factors that are good for your heart can also prevent diabetes.” The research lists seven health influences and lifestyle behaviors associated with vascular health: diet, physical activity, cholesterol, weight, blood glucose, tobacco use, and blood pressure.

Overall, as the first-mentioned research concludes, the continuing study of how developmental, environmental, and genetic forces impact the energy homeostasis system will improve our understanding of obesity pathogenesis and thereby improve treatment, advocacy, and awareness of obesity to eventually reduce its impact on public health and the economy.

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