• Fighting the Fat — the Obesity Battle Continues
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on August 26, 2013
I make a habit out of watching the early morning TV shows in order to anticipate my patients’ questions. During that time of the day it seems there is at least one commercial spot per channel that advertises weight reduction surgery. I do not recall viewing these commercials twenty years ago, which leads me to think that either the demand for weight loss has reached a new desperation mark or that we have run out of medical options, including diet suggestions.
Two articles recently reviewed in The Endocrine Society Newsletter shed light on my concerns and observations.
- A recent set of articles found that obesity continues to be at epidemic proportions with our children paying the heaviest toll.
- A particularly worrisome study in the Journal of Pediatrics indicates that teens with elevated urine levels of Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DHEP) and bisphenol A (BPA) have higher risk of insulin resistance and obesity.
US Obesity Rate Unchanged In All But One State
Unfortunately, obesity rates continue to remain unchanged in 49 states – except for Arkansas. The average American adult still weighs 24 pounds more than adults did in the 1960s. Also noteworthy is the frightening prospect that our children may be the first generation to live sicker and die earlier than their parents.
My assessment is that although the US spends more dollars on health care, peddles more diet programs, and sells more exercise equipment than any nation in the world, we are among the least healthy and most grossly overweight, with a future generation with dimmer health prospects than any time in recorded history. It seems time for a change to a direction beginning with each of us stepping back for a moment and not succumbing to the notion that starvation or bizarre diets using mystical products are the answer.
What is behind the increase in obesity in the last few decades? And what non-surgical steps can we do to take control of our weight? I believe the information in my next blog gives insight into one of the most important issues in the fight against obesity.