Health, Science Fact of the Day

Bad News for Weight Gain: There is a point of no return

Researchers have found that under the typical conditions of care for obese and overweight individuals that:

“current nonsurgical obesity treatment strategies are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients. For patients with a BMI of 30 or greater kilograms per meters squared, maintaining weight loss was rare and the probability of achieving normal weight was extremely low. Research to develop new and more effective approaches to obesity management is urgently required.(58)”

The article isn’t entirely pessimistic and it ends on a positive note, I recommend reading it.

The point I wish to highlight is that once a certain threshold of weight gain is reached, it can be difficult or impossible to reverse.

I do not mean to take away hope from people who have overfatted themselves. The data reviewed was from the UK primary care database. That means, it doesn’t include people who see dietitians, personal trainers, or who take personal ownership of their own well-being through research and hard work. That means it doesn’t include you. Why? Because if you read this blog you aren’t the kind of person who lets a statistic enslave you.

My doctor friends tell me that it is rare for patients to respond positively to non-surgical and non-prescription intervention recommendations. And there is some evidence that doctors often don’t tell patients that they are over-weight. The same article linked in the previous sentence indicates that many doctors to not feel competent to help patients lose weight and keep it off.

As the Fildes article states, “the greatest opportunity for tackling the current obesity epidemic may be found outside primary care (58).” While your doctor may not be able to help you lose weight or prevent you from gaining it, you can choose to do it. You can lift weights, you can base your diet on meat, eggs, and veggies. You can throw away all of your junk food. You can walk every day. You can lift 3 days a week. You can make food your fuel rather than your fun. You can do these things. And if you finished reading this post, you will.

References

Alison Fildes et al., “Probability of an Obese Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records,” American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 9 (July 16, 2015): 54–59.

3 Comments on “Bad News for Weight Gain: There is a point of no return

  1. My doctor friends tell me that it is rare for patients to respond positively to non-surgical and non-prescription intervention recommendations. And there is some evidence that doctors often don’t tell patients that they are over-weight. The same article linked in the previous sentence indicates that many doctors to not feel competent to help patients lose weight and keep it off.

    i don’t think doctors have the knowledge to get the information needed to help people. my daughter has struggled with some weight she gained yet works out and eats well. all blood work comes back normal. thermography by a Naturopath showed her thyroid is underactive and cold – not getting enough blood flow. a Nutritionist is helping make the adjustments necessary. both run tests that are not standard in a medical doc’s office, and they know how to interpret those tests and make adjustments necessary. by the time these things would show up on blood work, there would be significant damage.

    i also think that with all the chemicals and toxins in the world that there are factors involved that simply working out will not solve. it takes more testing in non-typical areas to find these things, and it takes thinking outside the ‘traditional medical’ box to correct them without pharmaceuticals. i know two women who have had their thyroid removed and several others who are permanently on thyroid meds. what kind of life could they have had if they knew to get different kinds of testing that would reveal this was an issue long before it showed up in blood work?

    1. Yeah. Doctors, not all, have a fear of interventions that are very reasonable like increasing meat-based proteins to improve satiety so that people will eat less. Many doctors think strength training is bad for your joints, and on and on. And like you said, thyroid hormone can be a big part of the problem. In obese women, iodine deficiency is more common than in men and non-obese women. And iodine is crucial for thyroid function. So yeah, there are many many layers here.

      I’ve known a lot of people who have solved their obesity by going on a ketogenic diet or a temporary carnivorous diet (meat, eggs, cheese, salt, and spices). How it worked is speculative except for the fact that protein and animal fat make you feel full and there’s just so few snacks made of meat that you can eat in excess.

      Doctors are good at what they do, namely saving lives from catastrophic life events. But they usually aren’t weight management specialists.

      1. i’ve always eaten well but decided to try the keto diet for various reasons, and it was the trigger that spiraled my body into crisis. not simply the ‘keto flu’ … my body completely crashed. my husband, though, does well on a keto diet.

        i think that before the 50’s it was much simpler to say eat well and work out. since the 50’s, with all the toxins and chemicals in our foods and environment, and with the changes in the ways we work, it’s more complicated for many people than simply saying, ‘Eat well and exercise.’

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