The reasons for obesity
are multiple and complex. Despite conventional wisdom, it is not simply a result of overeating.
Research has shown that in many cases a significant, underlying cause of morbid
obesity is genetic.
Studies have demonstrated that once the problem is established, efforts such
as dieting and exercise programs have a limited ability to provide effective long-term relief.
What Causes Obesity?
Many factors interact to determine whether or not you will be become obese, such as:
drugs (like steroids)
medical conditions (like hypothyroidism).
scientific studies have established that our genes play an important
role in our tendency to gain excess weight. A number of genes are probably directly
related to weight.
Some genes determine eye color or height, other
genes affect our appetite, our ability to feel full or satisfied, our metabolism,
our fat-storing ability, and even our natural activity levels.
The body weight of adopted children shows
no correlation with the body weight of their adoptive parents, who feed them
and teach them how to eat. Their weight does have an 80 percent correlation with
their genetic parents, whom they have never met.
Identical twins, with the same genes, show
a much higher similarity of body weights than do fraternal twins, who have different
genes. Certain groups of people, such as the Pima Indian tribe in Arizona, have
a very high incidence of severe obesity. They also have significantly higher
rates of diabetes and heart disease than other ethnic groups.
and genetic factors are obviously closely intertwined. If you have a
genetic predisposition toward obesity, then the modern American lifestyle and
environment may make controlling weight more difficult.
Fast food, long days sitting at a desk, and
suburban neighborhoods that require cars all magnify hereditary factors such
as metabolism and efficient fat storage.
For those suffering from morbid obesity, anything
less than a total change in environment usually results in failure to reach and
maintain a healthy body weight.
to think of weight gain or loss as only a function of calories ingested
and then burned. Take in more calories than you burn, gain weight; burn more
calories than you ingest, lose weight. But now we know the equation isn't that
Obesity researchers now talk about a
theory called the "set point," a sort of thermostat in the brain that
makes people resistant to either weight gain or loss. If you try to override
the set point by drastically cutting your calorie intake, your brain responds
by lowering metabolism and slowing activity. You then gain back any weight you
Medical Conditions (click)
loss surgery is not a cure for medical conditions, such as hypo- thyroidism,
or eating disorders that can also cause weight gain.
That's why it's important that you
work with your doctor to make sure you do not have a condition that should be
treated with medication and counseling.
Please note that the information in this website is an educational resource and should not be used for decisions regarding treatment.
All such decisions must be made in consultation with a physician or your healthcare provider.
Every person is an individual with unique medical issues that need to be considered thoroughly in the decision to have bariatric surgery. Weight loss depends on a lot of factors and the results may vary from person to person.