For many years, obesity was considered a problem of willpower. Now, the American Medical Association classifies it as a disease. Obesity has spread across the U.S., leaving two-thirds of adults having overweight and at risk of developing diseases.
By its simplest definition, obesity means we have too much body fat, but the reason we gain weight varies. Medical obesity specialist Dr. Ziltzer says, “It’s not a matter of taking in too many calories or not burning enough.” There are so many different factors at play that it’s hard to lose weight and get obesity under control.
How Do We Gain Weight?
To understand how we gain weight, it helps to first understand how we take in and process energy.
We all use calories from food as fuel for everything we do. Whether you’re going on a bike ride, chasing after your kids, or cleaning the dishes after dinner, you need energy from food to do it. When we don’t use all the calories we eat, our bodies convert them into fat. This provided a backup energy source when food is scarce. But these days we don’t have trouble finding food.
Convenient, unhealthy foods are all around us, and as a result, we tend to eat more calories than we need. We’re also surrounded by cars, computers, TVs, elevators, and other things that encourage us to be inactive. So we’re less likely to burn the calories we take in.
How Does Obesity Affect Us?
Obesity can make every physical task more difficult, but it can also take an emotional toll. Those with obesity are often discriminated against. Not fitting in an airplane or movie theater seat can keep many people with obesity from doing things they would otherwise enjoy.
Health is where obesity makes the clearest impact. Excess weight affects every part of your body. This means a higher risk for diseases like:
- Gallbladder disease
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
Obesity is a chronic condition. Self-help weight-loss diets are short-term, and the weight comes back when it ends. To keep weight off, we need:
- Long-term dietary changes
- Long-term lifestyle changes
- A healthier relationship with food
- More daily physical activity
It’s challenging to make long-term changes without help and support, especially for those with severe obesity. With a medical weight loss program, weight loss experts can customize the best and safest approach for you.
Read our FREE e-book Chasing Diets and learn about the weight loss program that works.