A combination of multiple environmental and genetic factors are leading to the obesity epidemic in the United States. This obesity paradigm is not as simple as eating too much or not getting enough exercise. Currently, approximately 40% of all Americans are over-weight or obese, and nearly 20% of people are morbidly obese.
Genetics and Obesity
Genetics has been shown to contribute to obesity through animal studies and twin studies. Luckily, genetics is not the only factor that contributes to obesity. Genetics can be linked to spontaneous mutations in single genes that may affect a person’s appetite and portion control. Genetic syndromes, such as Prader-Will Syndrome, has also been linked to obesity.
Overall, most people believe that obesity is linked to multiple genes that affect multiple body systems. Common obesity may help explain how some patient burn and carry their fat differently. But, genetics is not the entire story. Lifestyle factors play a very important role.
Environmental factors that may influence a person’s susceptibility to becoming obese include:
- Family or community customs
- Eating habits
- Daily physical activity
Eating fast food or foods that are high in fat and sugar on a regular basis is known to lead to weight gain. And, a lack of daily physical activity also significant contributes to the issue. Breaking the clean plate model and adjusting portion control is a great place to start when changing your eating habits.
Individuals who suffer from eating disorders may find that it is extremely difficult to manage the issue on their own. This can lead to extreme weight gain and other major health issues. Eating disorders can also be an issue in individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery because of the possibility of engaging in unhealthy behavior post-surgery.
Our goal at Western Surgical Bariatric Center is to provide our patients with both the surgical care they need to overcome their obesity and the information and tools they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle after their procedure. If you need help overcoming obesity, contact our office to schedule a consultation with fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon Dr. John Weaver.