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Looking At Obesity With A New Paradigm?

For many, many years we have all heard that poor weight control and addressing this problem are a matter of “calories in-calories out”, i.e. the less we eat, the more we lose.  There are “3500 calories to a pound”, so to lose 10 pounds, we need to create a 35,000 caloric deficit.  

Clearly, Dr. Atkins had other ideas on this matter as his research and famed “Atkin’s Diet” showed:  People can lose LOTS of weight while eating pretty much all the calories they wanted…as long as zero of these calories came from carbohydrates/sugars/starches.

I came across a very thorough article discussing the “flawed” paradigm of looking at weight control as “calories in/calories out” being the major issue.  Rather, the research is now showing more and more that fat and insulin metabolism are at the root of the problem.  I have included a link at the end of this entry if you are interested in reading the entire article.

The strong link of obesity and diabetes highlights the role of insulin and blood sugar in fat accumulation.  The major satiety hormone, “Leptin”, is secreted by fat cells and this is the hormone that causes us to feel “full” after eating a certain amount of food.  Disregulation with leptin production/secretion is also a major component of why many people have great difficulty in losing weight.

The bottom line:  There are no “easy” or “simple” explanations as to why some people are prone to poor weight control and others are not.  Clearly, this is not a matter of “calories in/calories out”.   In the 1950’s obesity articles referred lots to “gluttony”, attributing “blame” to a person’s character that caused the poor weight control.  Although this was 70 years ago, there still is an element of “self-blame” that overweight/obese people experience.  This self-flagellation is negative energy that detracts from the person focusing on a positive, goal-directed journey.

As we learn more and more about how to help people with poor weight control, one thing is pretty clear: New paradigms are needed to assess and then implement treatment strategies that work…the obesity epidemic has worsened lots under the old paradigms.

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