People, who live especially in developed countries become fatter systematically. We eat too much and this is why the problem with obesity started to be so serious, that we can call it the epidemic. Yet, we do not understand where does it come from.
Scientists for many years wonder why some people do not have problems with obesity, and some do. In developed countries, the percentage of obese people equals 25% and this number is still growing. Public awareness campaigns, that call for the healthy lifestyle, are worthless. The epidemic of obesity grows larger and leaves more and more imprints on people’s health.
Apart from known health dangers that come with obesity, science still uncovers new, for example, skin cancer which more often affects obese people. Another problem is the decreased effectiveness of disease treatment, which is easier for people with the right body weight. Obesity complicates stages and procedures of treatment, like an anesthetic, which may be problematic because surgeries become dangerous.
We should start to worry about it today because the problem relates to teenagers and children too, and this “plague” may be catastrophic for the health of future generations.
So, what can we do to successfully fight this problem? It is convenient, especially for people who do not have problems with obesity, to say that the ones who do, eat too much or do not limit their eating habits enough. It turns out, and research proves it, that obesity not only comes from people’s nature.
In developed countries, many medical institutes try to learn about obesity and how to prevent it. If we look at ourselves as the population within last 20-30 years and think about what is the reason of obesity, the answer is obvious. We eat more than we need because access to food is easier. In today’s world food is everywhere, full of calories, tasty, but without precious nutrients. It attacks us with its virtues from magazine covers, commercials, store shelves. The fact is that we love high-calorie food too much, even all-fat-food. It is estimated, that in developed countries, the average man eats around 200 calories over their needed limit.
Technological progress and the change of work characteristic limited the need for physical activity, for some even complete lack of it. We drive to work, we sit in front of display screens for hours, and after work, we cannot force ourselves to perform any physical activity.
It can be said, that we are in the breakthrough moment for humankind. Our bodies, being used (because of evolution) to continuous fight for food and significant physical activity, now do not need to perform any of these, as we have unlimited access to food. Our “primordial nature” wishes to eat first, and the lack of any physical activity causes the first effect – obesity.
How much will we get fat depends on several facts – what and how much have we eaten, when do we eat, and when we finish eating. What in our bodies has an impact on our decisions? How can we control it?
Researchers all over the world try to answer the above-mentioned questions. So far, people who sought medical attention were advised to eat less and perform physical activity. Yet, it turns out that it does not work. People are not willing to perform more of physical activity or to eat less, and that is why they lose the fight against obesity
Researchers are trying to determine, what factor decides that some people are obese and some are not. What decides that we are hungry or full? These two hormones, Ghrelin (GHRL) which is hunger hormone, and Peptide YY (PYY) – satiety hormone.
Discovery of these two hormones allows to better understand the problem. It turned out that a stomach communicates with a brain and determines whether we feel hungry or full. Research proves, that these hormones work correctly for people who do not have a problem with obesity, which means that ghrelin activates when we are hungry, and peptide YY starts its function when we are full.
If these hormones are not working properly, then even a small hunger signals a brain to start to eat, and simultaneously the satiety hormone does not give a clear information that we are full. Above mentioned situation causes people with obesity to feel always hungry, and they almost never feel full.
To summarize we can deduce that people are not obese only because of their weak will, hormones are part of the process too. Yet, not only the biology is responsible, take a look at the next paragraph.
Genes are another factor which is responsible for obesity, as researchers have discovered the obesity gene, and the science branch Is called epigenetics.
We are not hereditarily burdened with obesity, as obesity gene can be “turned” on or off. This mechanism causes a change of metabolism. What makes genes to be active or not? The answer is – our environment and stress.
The research gives a little hope for people who struggle with obesity. Unfortunately, it does not give us the effective method of fighting obesity, the only thing we have left is our strong will to restrict eating habits, regular physical activity, and the change of lifestyle to reduce stress to “turn off” the weight gain gene.
For people who are still losing battles with obesity, there is the last resort solution – gastric bypass. The procedure decreases the size of the stomach to the size of a thumb, so it allows to considerable weight loss in a short time, but its efficiency in the long term is still examined.
The newest research proves that the BMI (Body Mass Index) is the crucial element that has the impact on people’s longevity. Abdominal obesity is even more important, especially visceral fat. Body fat and visceral fat can be measured with specialized devices.
As we understand what the obesity is, and what negative effects it has on physical and mental health. We know what we are fighting for, not only for our long lives but also above all, for their quality.
In the weight loss process, resting is very important – stress encourages weight gain. A gym reduces stress, as physical activity releases endorphins – the hormone of happiness.