Overweight and Obesity
If you look closely at your group family photos from 30 years ago and compare them to any family photographs from recent 5 years, you can see that more than 50% of people are overweight in the recent group photos as compared to old photographs, where the number of overweight people would be hardly 20%.
Overweight and obesity is increasing day by day. Nearly 70% of people are overweight nowadays.
In this modern technological era, obesity and its associated complications are killing many people slowly.
It is appropriately called “slow plague of modern times”.
What Causes Obesity?
The primary cause of obesity is FAT INFLAMMATION due to HIGH INSULIN.
Due to the repeated intake of refined carbohydrates and processed foods like sugars, bread, refined white rice, Maida, refined flours, creams, syrups and sugary beverages, there is a spike of insulin levels in the body as a compensatory mechanism by the pancreas to control raised blood sugars. Repeated spikes of insulin lead to high insulin levels in the blood called HYPERINSULINEMIA.
Insulin Swells Up Fat Cells. Usually swelled fat cells become normal sized after insulin levels come back to normal levels.
After a few years, repeated insulin spikes and high insulin levels develop resistance which fails to bring down high blood sugar. This condition is called INSULIN RESISTANCE AND HYPERINSULINEMIA. This persistent high level of insulin leads to persistent swelling of fat cells.
Just like the repeated use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance, repeated spikes of insulin by refined carbohydrates and processed food leads to insulin resistance.
The causes of chronic fat inflammation and weight gain are:
1) Sugar and refined carbohydrates including artificial sweeteners.
3) Refined grains like white rice, Maida, and Wheat.
4) Foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids such as fast foods, corn, safflower and sunflower oils, cakes with frosting, peanut butter, creams etc.
5) Imbalanced digestive bacteria
7) Lack of Sleep
8) Too little exercise.
9) Poor intake of water.
When diabetic people start insulin injections, there will be weight gain due to the side effects of taking insulin.
Very rarely obesity is genetic. I keep hearing this frequently from overweight people that Fat runs in our family, that’s why I am overweight. Until very recently, we were taught that our genes determine our destiny and that our genes could not be altered or changed.
Thanks to our research in epigenetics, we are now aware that our environment, diet, and even lifestyle all make a difference in what happens with our genetic heritage and can even change genetic expression.
ALL FATS IN THE BODY are NOT the SAME
Types of Body fats
1) Subcutaneous fat
This is the fat that is found right under your skin on hips, thighs, and belly. Small amounts of subcutaneous fat give shine to skin and make you look beautiful.
We are born with subcutaneous fat, and it acts as a cushion to protect our bones and muscles against any hits and falls.
It also acts as an insulator, thereby regulating body temperature.
2) Visceral fat
This is the fat buried deep in our abdominal cavity; it covers all the nearby organs such as filling the spaces between vital organs like the liver and kidneys.
Interestingly, there are some people who appear thin, but who nonetheless have a substantial amount of visceral fat hiding out around their organs.
This condition is called Thin outside and Fat inside (TOFI). It is used to describe people having a disproportionate amount of adipose tissue i.e. fat stored in their abdomen. Visceral fat is dangerous than subcutaneous fat.
Belly Fat Is A Beautiful Combination Of Excess Subcutaneous And Visceral Fat. Belly fat is more dangerous visceral fat.
Men and women differ in fat storage. Usually, the overweight man is likely to store more fat in his abdominal area.
In the case of Women, until menopause, they tend to store fat, mostly subcutaneous fat in the regions of thighs, hips, and butt. After the menopause, as less estrogen is produced, fat moves over and gets stored in and around waist and abdomen.
Lastly, fat in the hips, thighs, and butt carry as many health hazards as it does in the middle of the abdomen.
In my next blog, I will explain about BMI and measurement of body fat percentage.