Causes of weight gain & consequences of obesity
The traditional thinking that “overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance” is very flawed and misguided according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD, a practicing obesity medicine physician and founder of W8MD Medical Weight Loss Centers of America.
Although this concept of “energy balance” is partly true, it fails to encompass the complex factors that contribute to appetite, satiety, and what makes us gain weight. It puts this in a simple mathematic formula which does not explain why people gain weight.
Understand the true art and science of obesity medicine
Throughout the history, mankind had dealt with obesity although the scale at which obesity and being overweight status that is affecting most Americans has reached epidemic proportions. In fact, the obesity statistics from Centers for Disease Control show about 69% of all adults in the United States are either overweight or obese.
Obesity in numbers
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009–2010 show:
- More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
As per the 2012 data, more than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9 percent) were obese in 2011-2012 and a similar number in the overweight category. This includes 33.5 percent of men and 36.1 percent of women.
Causes of weight gain & consequences of obesity
Causes of obesity – Youtube video
The human brain has an appetite center in the hypothalamus part of the brain that controls our appetite and satiety. Over 50 different neuro-transmitors were found to play a role in this process of appetite and hunger control including Leptins, and Ghrelins!
There are many factors that influence when people are hungry, what they eat, how much they eat, when to stop, what foods to choose etc. A lot of these factors are influenced many factors such as insulin resistance, lack of proper sleep, sleep apnea, genes, eating habits, how and where people live, attitudes and emotions, life habits, and income.
The number one reason people gain weight, especially around their belly, and upper part of the body is insulin resistance, according to Dr. Tumpati.
Why does insulin resistance lead to weight gain?
Insulin is a very potent anabolic (body building hormone) we have in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps us utilize the glucose that comes from our food.
Sugar Rush and Crash
When we consume a diet rich in simple carbohydrates such as Bagels, white bread, cereals, cheerios, white rice, chips, donuts, etc. our body absorbs the glucose very quickly thereby leading to a “sugar rush”. As result of this sugar rush, the body has to produce a lot of insulin leading to “insulin rush”.
About 2-3 hours later, the sugar levels fall, sometimes to a very low levels partly due to the high insulin that drives the sugar to be converted in to fat, that one might feel the “sugar crash”.
This makes one feel hungry again and for more sugary foods. This sudden sugar rush and crash has been thought to lead to insulin resistance.
Affecting up to 70 percent of the population, insulin resistance is common. According to the CDC, up to about 35 percent of all adults have insulin resistance to the point of Prediabetes.
I do not have blood sugar problems as my blood work is fine!
The human body compensates to insulin resistance by increasing the production of insulin resistance. If you just look at the blood sugars, you may not see any change for many years due to this ability of the body to compensate.
How do I know if I have insulin resistance?
If you are gaining weight in the upper part of the body or around the belly, you may have insulin resistance.
Some people might develop dark patches in the skin of the neck or thick lines on the skin of the neck. This is called Acanthosis Nigricans and is more visible in the darker skinned individuals but also seen in light skinned individuals. Others might have skin tags or moles.
Use this free W8MD insulin resistance calculator to see if you might be insulin resistant.
Other causes of weight gain
- Lack of sleep
- Food addiction
- Lack of exercise
- Leptin Resistance
- Eating habits
- Genetically modified foods
- High fructose corn syrup
- Portion sizes
What our patients say?
W8MD weight loss program reviews on Yelp:
Wonderful doctor. Speaks to me with respect and great knowledge on weight loss. Fabulous results after 2 months, I’ve lost 30 pounds. Highly recommend. – Mike B.
Since this is a unique program that addresses the true causes of weight gain, and not an average weight loss clinic, we do get patients from far and near including from other states!
Skin Tags can also be a sign of insulin resistance.
Learn more on Insulin Resistance
How can W8MD’s unique insurance physician weight loss program in NYC, Philadelphia, NJ and other places help?