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
Our names are Tracey and Amy. As of July 28th 2009, we have both lost over one hundred pounds (6 months after surgery)! Getting the Gastric Bypass Surgery was an enormous decision for both of us. We have both battled with our weight our whole lives. We have tried every diet and workout program out there, with no continuous success. We were tired of our weight taking over our lives. It was time for a permanent change! We both had the Gastric Bypass Surgery on January 14, 2009! Dr. Wilcox preformed our surgery. The first month after surgery was very challenging. We both had each other and an amazing family to lend us help and support. After we worked through the ups and downs during the first month, it was uphill from there. We have never looked back! We both went from a size 20/22 to a size 12/14! The surgery has changed our lives, both physically and emotionally! We have so much more energy now! We also have more self-confidence! We would love to thank everyone who has helped us overcome our battle with our weight. The staff members at Hope Bariatrics are amazing and have shown us endless support and patience! Thank you for everything!
 

- Tracey and Amy



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