Causes of Obesity

appleThe reasons for obesity are multiple and complex. Despite conventional wisdom, it is not simply a result of overeating. Obesity results from a complex interaction of genetic, behavioral and environmental factors causing an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. 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.

Science continues to search for answers. But until the disease is better understood, the control of excess weight is something patients must work at for their entire lives. That is why it is very important to understand that all current medical interventions, including weight loss surgery, should not be considered medical cures. Rather they are attempts to reduce the effects of excessive weight and alleviate the serious physical, emotional and social consequences of the disease.

Contributing Factors

The underlying causes of severe obesity are not known. There are many factors that contribute to the development of obesity including genetic, hereditary, environmental, metabolic and eating disorders. There are also certain medical conditions that may result in obesity like intake of steroids and hypothyroidism.

Environmental Factors

"Genetics loads the gun—the environment pulls the trigger."  George Bray, 1996

Environmental 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.

Metabolism

We used 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 simple.
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 lost.

Eating Disorders & Medical Conditions

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for eating disorders. And there are medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, 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.

 

PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
I have struggled with obesity for over fourteen years. I tried Weight Watchers, Optimum Weight Loss Center, Weight Loss programs with professionals, exercise programs, being hypnotized, Bible studies wanting to help people lose weight, the whole gamut. I felt like this struggle would never end. I HAVE to eat in order to survive but the feeling of being out of control when it came to food was never ending.

It wasn't until I walked into an introductory seminar for bariatrics in January 2014 that I truly found HOPE! As I sat and listened to the information being presented, I felt an excitement rising inside of me. HOPE Bariatrics was going to be my lifeline. I started making the appointments necessary to begin this process. I wasn't sure if I would qualify for this program, but I was going for it. As I began to go through the check list and six months of doctor visits, I grew more and more excited about it. I began going to the support group meetings and hearing the stories of others who had bypass surgery. I knew that this wasn't going to be a walk in the park, but I was ready.

It was at one of the support group meetings that I found out that a friend from church was also on this journey to have surgery. It was wonderful to have someone to go through this with. We found out that we were both approved through our insurance and a date was set. The SAME date, we would have surgery on the same day and share a room in the hospital together. Only God could work out something like that! The surgery went well and recovery was difficult, but every day I felt a little better. I had a whole new way of eating, drinking, taking vitamins and exercising. I needed to set alarms on my phone to remind me to take vitamins. I was now looking at labels to check for the amount of sugar, calories and protein. I needed be eating/drinking 60-80 grams of protein a day to help with the burning of fat.

With the support of those from HOPE Bariatrics, family, friends and those who have had the surgery, I have come a long way. I am one year out from my procedure and have gone down 14 sizes and 90 pounds. I have so much more energy and I feel better. I actually look forward to exercising and showing my kids that I can water/snow ski. I enjoy jumping on the trampoline and being active with them.

I know that I still have to follow the program and watch what and how much I eat. This will have to continue for the rest of my life, but it's worth it. I don't ever want to be obese again! If you are reading this and wondering if this is something you should do, I say, YES, DO IT! The only regret that I have is that I didn't do it years ago.
 

- Kristan



View more testimonials

Sign up for a seminar or support group
request a phone call for bariatric weight loss consultation    
NAME
EMAIL
PHONE



captcha code phone call request submit