Diet and exercise may not be enough to fight obesity. Experts claim that while they are good approaches to help lose weight, they only work for the short term. Many put the weight back on, and some pile on more pounds.
Specialists in America claim that doctors need to start treating obesity as a disease. It is not something that can just be cured by a change to the diet and more exercise. There are biological causes that doctors need to consider. These biological systems lead to people eating foods that are higher in calories, and that leads to weight gain. The systems have developed from a time when humans needed to store more fat to survive due to a lack of food.
Icahn School of Medicine professor Dr. Christopher Ochner led the study, and says that lifestyle changes cannot override the defense systems that the human body has developed over time. While changes to lifestyle may help to lose weight, those with “chronic obesity bodyweight” have better defenses that lead to them gaining the weight back. He likened the advice to “eat less and exercise more” to the advice to someone bleeding to avoid sharp objects.
While discussing the defense system that the body has developed, he says that those who really “recover from obesity” really suffer from “obesity in remission.” Diet and exercise is not enough to fight obesity because the body finds a way to get people to eat more even once they lose weight. The defenses differ between people due to gender, age and bodyweight.
During the report, Ochner went on to say that bariatric surgery was the only way to fight against obesity effectively for the long-term. This includes having gastric bands fitted, as they help to limit the amount of food people will consume. He stated that this is also a good option for those who want to reverse diabetes.
He believes that doctors need to be realistic about the “disease.” It is time for them to admit that it could be treatment-resistant, and people need other help to lose weight. Medical interventions should be considered, as well as lifestyle changes.
There are many people who find the research and advice poor. National Obesity Forum member Tam Fry says that eating less and moving more does work, but does require consistent work. People need to be determined to lose weight and keep it off. He went on to contradict the study, saying that biology is very much the same as it was 40 years ago, when obesity was not such a big problem. People are overweight due to giving into gluttony. Losing just 10 percent of a patient’s start weight could be enough to help improve the health.
The idea of diet and exercise leading to weight loss is currently involved in a debate. While there are still many who believe that this will help—and has proven to help—Ochner believes that it is not the case. He is focused on the biological reasons for people being obese, and believes that diet and exercise is not enough to keep weight off.
By Alexandria Ingham