Research studies have shown that obesity is a highly complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue but actually a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems which will be discussed further below.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has grown to epidemic proportions, with over 4 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese in 2017 adding to the global burden of disease.
Rates of overweight and obesity continue to grow in adults and children. From 1975 to 2016, the prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents aged 5–19 years increased more than four-fold from 4% to 18% globally.
Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. The vast majority of overweight or obese children live in developing countries, where the rate of increase has been more than 30% higher than that of developed countries.
In Thailand, obesity in both males and females is highly prevalent in Bangkok with 38.8% and 49.4% respectively. Whereas, the central part of Thailand sees 33.3% of males and 44.5% of females as obese. The southern part of Thailand has about 27.4% and 44.7% obese males and females respectively, while the northern regions witness 27.5% male and 36.3% female population as obese.
Common causes of obesity
- Genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored
- Growing older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight
- Not sleeping enough, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods
- Pregnancy, as weight gained during pregnancy may be difficult to lose and might eventually lead to obesity
- Certain health conditions can also lead to weight gain, which may lead to obesity.
Healthline.com states that having a high ratio of body fat to muscle puts strain on your bones as well as your internal organs. It also increases inflammation in the body, which is thought to be a risk factor for cancer. Obesity is also a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Obesity has been linked to a number of health complications, some of which can be life threatening if not treated:
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- certain cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial)
- gallbladder disease
- fatty liver disease
- high cholesterol
- sleep apnea and other breathing problems
Integrative weight loss pathway
When it comes to losing weight, the key is determination. Losing weight successfully is inspirational and at the same time helps one to build and gain self-confidence. Some people are motivated by good health and longevity, while some just focus on looking good.
Diet, exercise, eating weight loss supplements, are common choices for many. Studies have found that about 70%-80% of these people have hormone imbalance issues and therefore, success is a limited achievement if the root of the problem is not addressed.
Hormones are chemicals the body produces from the endocrine glands. They control the functions of various organs according to the type of hormones as mentioned below:
- Growth Hormone regulates body growth and stimulates the musculature.
- Thyroid hormone controls each cell’s energy generation.
- Insulin and glucagon hormones control blood sugar levels.
- Leptin hormone controls appetite.
- Adrenal gland hormones control the balance of energy, emotions, as well as sex drive.
- Sex hormones express each individual’s sexual characteristics and stimulate the reproductive system.
Research studies in anti-aging medicine have found that the above hormones are controlled by factors such as, the balance of a person’s body clock and lifestyle. The following lifestyle choices are key factors that affect the balance mentioned:
- Stressful work life
- Minimal rest
- Late nights
- Waking up late
- No breakfast
- Unhealthy foods
- Lack of exercise
All the above can seriously affect the metabolism function which in turn causes weight gain. Controlling food and exercise without lifestyle changes is still not enough to rebalance the hormones, hence making weight loss difficult to achieve.
In addition, Hormones Degeneration Deficiency of cellular metabolism is often a common cause of weight loss problems. Some example of medically backed weight loss techniques are as follows:
- Checking hormonal balance and getting the right medical help to ensure this.
- Getting the right advice and guidance on healthy lifestyle changes.
- Intermittent fasting (fast for 16 hours to stimulate metabolic genes in cells).
- Use selective food-type techniques (low glycaemic index, consume less starch and sweets to reduce insulin stimulation that triggers hunger).
- Use the gene-based concept of nutrition genetics or nutrigenomics with the help of nutritional extracts (polyphenols in grape, green tea, lychee peel). This includes the balancing of microorganisms in the gut to increase fat metabolism. This in turn affects the function of the gene regulating body weight.
- Maintaining cell metabolism or Mitochondrial Rescue Program: Mitochondria plays an important role in cell metabolism. Deterioration of the mitochondria is one of the causes of cell degeneration and weight gain which is commonly due to heavy metal toxins. Cumulative stress can also covert vitamin and mineral deficiencies into possible medical challenges. Therefore, detecting abnormalities and correcting the mitochondria function is very important.
There are many factors that can influence our body weight. Getting the right advice medically and practicing the right techniques can play a vital role in making one’s weight loss journey a greater and healthier success.
Author: Ezree Ebrahim, Head Business Development (Healthcare), Absolute Health Group.
For Further information, please contact: [email protected].
Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, [email protected] Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.