We’ve got a weight epidemic. In Kentucky alone over 31% of us have clinical obesity and over 66% of us are overweight. That means that 1/3 of our population has a disease that has a 100% chance of lowering life expectancy. You read that correctly. If you have obesity as a disease you can expect that you will not live to your genetic capability of life length. Do I have your attention yet? Good. In today’s blog I am going to give you some concrete steps to work on this problem.
1.Recognize that you have the disease obesity
This is not as easy as it seems. With so many of us gaining weight, clinicians and patients alike are normalizing what overweight and obesity looks like. We can no longer depend on our visual cues or even scale weight to help us make the diagnosis. So how do you know where you are? The most common metric to use is the body mass index or BMI. This is a number calculated from your weight divided by your height squared. Here is a link to a BMI calculator so you don’t even have to do any math.
There are some problems however, with using the BMI scale. First it is not controlled for factors that matter like gender, race or body type. Second it can be skewed upwards by added muscle and skewed downwards by fat. In other words, if you are a body builder you may have an elevated BMI but have a normal or lowered body fat mass. In the same vein you could have a normal BMI but have an increase in body fat mass. In my clinic we use Body Composition Analysis, which is a technology that can measure your lean muscle mass, your fat mass and you water volume. When you join my program you will automatically have a BCA at the start and at the end.
2.Understand that obesity is a disease with real life consequences like heart disease
So many of the diseases that we have are either caused by or exacerbated by obesity. I often quote 290 known diseases but we are finding out more diseases that are linked to weight every year. I think most people are aware of hypertension and diabetes but some conditions such as asthma, cholesterol, depression and even liver failure are caused by the inflammatory chemicals produced from our fat mass or adipose tissue. So many of our health conditions that force us to take medication to control, could be eliminated by losing fat mass. An article from the New England Journal of Medicine found that insulin resistance had a greater correlation with coronary artery disease then did smoking, hypertension or family history. Guess what leads to insulin resistance? Obesity.
3. Work towards treatment of your disease
How many times have you started a diet so that you could lose weight to feel better about yourself? I’d like you to stop this never ending cycle of self abuse and focus on what can really work to help treat obesity. We now have medications that help control weight gain. We have good data to show what works for weight loss and it’s not dieting and exercise. (I’m not knocking exercise, it just can’t be used as the only tool to lose weight). If you are interested in getting healthy, then you might be the right candidate for my program. We use science to identify why you have gained weight and we use science to design a program that will work for you. If you are ready to take control of your weight, your disease and your life, call us today. Your heart will thank us.