FoodFacts.com is fairly certain that most people think that the best thing to do for obesity is to establish a healthy, low-calorie diet and a consistent exercise schedule. It only makes sense that diet and exercise would be the key ingredients in reversing the condition. Sometimes, though, the things that may appear to make the most sense could, in fact, be counterintuitive to the problem.
According to a new research done by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, diet and exercise might not be enough to cure obesity. The researchers are asking the physicians to look for their biological mechanisms, which makes it harder for obese people to lose weight. According to Christopher Ochner, an assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, “When people diet, the body thinks that it’s starving, so several biological mechanisms kick in to encourage people to eat more so that they gain the weight back”. He then added, “For example, the body slows down the rate at which it burns calories in order to conserve fat, and there are changes in brain signaling that make people more attracted to high-calorie foods”.
In the statement Ochner also stated that, “These mechanisms originally evolved to help humans survive when food was scarce, but the problem is that those same mechanisms kick in if somebody is 400 lbs. and trying to lose 40 lbs”. Ochner noted, “In people who have been obese for many years. Body weight seems to become biologically ‘stamped in’ and defended”.
He suggested that doctors should consider before giving advice to these people about losing weight by dieting and exercising as these methods are not going to work for them. But researchers are also saying that the current biological treatment for obesity is expensive and there are no proven data about the long term effectiveness of this treatment is available. Over the long term till to date an operation on the stomach and intestine is the only treatment for obesity that has been shown to be effective.
Ochner said, “We don’t have enough treatments to address our underlying biology [of obesity]. We would like to see other, safer, more widely available treatments”.
We should all be concerned with the quality of our diet and making sure we get enough exercise. But it does seem that diet and exercise have their limits in terms of extensive weight loss. While weight loss surgery has certainly become more successful and, thus, more common, it remains serious surgery with many risks. We’ll be watching for the introduction of other obesity treatments in addition to better diet and exercise.