The Science and The Art of Obesity Treatment
In 1939, Weston Price, A Cleveland Dentist, published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – a book that details a series of ethnographic nutritional studies he performed across diverse cultures, including the Lötschental in Switzerland, Native Americans, Polynesians, Pygmies, and Aborigines, among many others. The research materials include some 15,000 photographs, 4,000 slides, and many film strips.
In the book, Price claimed that various diseases endemic to Western cultures of the 1920s and 1930s – from dental caries to tuberculosis – were rarely present in non-Western cultures. He argued that as non-Western groups abandoned indigenous diets and adopted Western patterns of living, they showed increases in typical Western diseases. He concluded that Western methods of commercially preparing and storing foods stripped away vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent these diseases.
The 1939 foreword to the book, written by physical anthropologist Earnest A. Hooton, lauded Price’s work for confirming previous research that dental caries were less prevalent in “savages” and attempting to establish the etiology for this difference. In 1940, a review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal called the book “a masterpiece of research”, comparing Price’s impact on nutrition to that of Ivan Pavlov in digestion. In 1950, a review in the journal The Laryngoscope said that “Dr. Price might well be called “The Charles Darwin of Nutrition” while describing Price’s documentation of his global travel and research in a book.
This great book and master piece in Obesity Medicine, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston Price is now available for free to you on W8MD website as a PDF version that you can read online or download.
In his “Letter on Corpulence” William Banting described his cure as an effective intervention(prescribed by his ENT physician). He published this at his own cost and contributed to the English expressions such as “Banting” which is synonymous with “dieting”.
Equal Opportunity Illness
The current physiognomy of wealth is now thinness, attained for many by extensive
individual labor, medications and surgery. Egalitatarian obesity: thanks to the
capitalist system, anyone who can buy carbohydrates can have them, along with
the prototypical enlarged belly and metabolic abnormalities.
Obesity is Hunger
In his new book, Taubes points out that obesity represents malnutrition-in impoverished societies where the adults are often obese while the children are thin with stunted growth. If access to protein is limited and calories are provided without adequate protein, the carbohydrate storage signal prompts adipose accumulation.
Insulin Resistance and Fat Storage!
When one is insulin resistant, the fat tissue cannot be released back for energy needs. In order for the body to recognize that fat tissue needs to be released back for energy needs, the insulin in the blood stream should be at a low level. Unfortunately, somebody with insulin resistance has a high level of basal insulin circulating in their blood stream all the time and this leads to a situation where they can store the fat but cannot easily access it for energy needs, such as in between the meals. After 3-4 hours of having a meal, the body would have used up all available glucose or stored it for future needs as fat.
At that point, the body should be able to get the fat back but is unable to due to insulin resistance. the only other source of energy for the body, when fat is inaccessible, is to break one’s own muscle protein thereby making their muscles thinner and weaker.
This is the primary reason why people with either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes tend to have thinner legs, and significant upper body fat accumulation as the insulin makes the body gain weight in the wrong areas such as belly and upper body. Affecting up to 70 percent of Americans, some degree of insulin resistance is very common. A third of the entire population has metabolic syndrome leading to pre-diabetes.
Obesity is common, serious and costly in the United States currently. According to the CDC, more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese and another third are in the overweight category. No state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. The number of states with an obesity prevalence of 30% or more has increased to 12 states in 2010. In 2009, nine states had obesity rates of 30% or more. In 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or more. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death.
What are the factors leading to rise of Obesity?
One reason is federal subsidies for food production.
Take a look at the federal subsidies that go in to each food group in USA:
•Meat/Dairy — 73.8 percent subsidy
•Grains — 13.2 percent subsidy
•Sugar/Oil/Starch/Alcohol — 10.7 percent subsidy
•Nuts/Legumes — 1.9 percent subsidy
•Vegetables/Fruits — 0.4 percent subsidy
As you can see, just 1.9 percent subsidy is provided for healthier choices such as nuts and legumes and 0.4 percent for fruits and vegetables. As a result, a salad can often cost you more than a Cheese Burger!
Failed Food Pyramid
Another reason is the faulty food pyramid that misunderstood the science and advocated a philosophy of consumption of grain based agricultural products(which are high in simple carbohydrates), thus leading to the phenomenon of insulin resistance. Having evolved genetically as Hunter’s and Gatherers designed to consume protein without much grain based agricultural products, we have not fully adapted to using the starches. Why the food pyramid failed?
So Where Are We?
National organizations (even now) have failed to provide substantiation for their recommendations, or to change their recommendations, to fit the science. Although the recent changes with the discontinuation of the food pyramid with My Plate was a step in the right direction, the principles spread by food pyramid, although erroneous, are deeply ingrained in the thinking and contribute to the problem of obesity.
Lack of physician education
About 94% of the physicians receive minimum or no training in nutrition. If the physicians theme selves are not fully educated, patients have nowhere to turn and end up trying one fad diet after another without much success.
How can W8MD help?
W8MD believes that physicians should be better educated and trained in the treatment and prevention of Obesity. Learn more…