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Obesity Can’t Be Cured By Diet And Exercise

Eating less and moving more can't remove excess weight and keep  it off.

Eating less and moving more can’t remove excess weight and keep it off.

Obesity Can’t Be Cured By Diet and Exercise  

People who have been obese for more than a few years can not return to and maintain normal, healthy weight just by dieting and exercising. So write Dr. Christpher Ochner and colleagues who are weight-loss specialists in the Feb. 11, 2015, issue of the Journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

According to Dr. Christohper Ochner and colleagues, when food was scarce for humans during the hunter-gatherer period, the body developed ways to help restore lost weight. For example, less calories were used for fuel, more “hunger” hormones were produced, storage capacity for fat was increased, and the brain was authorized to cause excessive eating. Those mechanisms are still present in the body’s behavior repertoire and begin operating when caloric intake is restricted, as in dieting. Once obesity is established, the body constantly employs these mechanisms in an effort to maintain its highest sustained weight.

Recent research published in the journal Nature supports Dr. Ochner’s claim, suggesting that obesity is influenced by 97 regions in the human genome. Dr. Elizabeth Speliotes, assistant professor at the University if Michigan, states that this makes it aless likely that one solution for obesity will work for everyone. Dr. Nikhil Dhurander, researcher and president of The Obesity Society, believes that obesity is a symptom of a group of diseases that are unitedly expressed by too much accumulated body fat.

“Few individuals ever truly recover from obesity” wrote Dr. Ochner. Less than 1% of adults with sustained obesity have a chance of regaining healthy weight with only diet and exercise.

To successful treat obesity Dr. Ochner and colleagues recommend biologically-based treatment. Currently, only bariatric surgery  – an operation on the stomach and intestines – has been proven to help obese people lose weight and keep it off. Weight-loss medicines  are available, but there are no data on the long-term effects of those medications.


Eating less and moving more can’t remove excess weight and keep it off.

About 79 million adults and 13 million children in the U.S. are obese. Experts agree that doctors should focus on obesity prevention because lifestyle changes like diet and exercise are more effective with people who are overweight but have not become obese. Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School says diet and exercise can be beneficial to obese people because even if they don’t lose weight they will be healthier.

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