Obesity has been on the rise in the US over the past 30 years or so. In 1990, no state had obesity prevalence equal to or greater than 15%. By 2000, every state had obesity rates greater than 10%. By 2010, 12 states had obesity rates greater than 30%. So why the rising rates of obesity?
There is growing awareness that changes in the environment (e.g. in diet and other lifestyle conditions) are having a profound effect on our genes and our health. The human genome has remained relatively unchanged, but diet and lifestyle have become progressively more divergent from traditional diets. In conjunction with this discordance of our ancient, genetically determined biology with the nutritional, cultural, and activity patterns of contemporary populations, many so-called diseases of civilization have emerged.
Various cancers and cardiovascular disease would fall in the category of diseases of civilization. The changing health status can be attributed to certain characteristics of the modern diet. These include a high glycemic load, fatty acid consumption that comprises a higher ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids; macronutrient composition, low micronutrient density, and a low fiber content. The interaction of our genome these processed foods may underlie many chronic diseases of today’s civilized societies.
Psychological stress plays a role in our health and disease status, including obesity. The demands of our fast-paced lifestyle places priority on success and income, not on relaxation, nutrition and health. Stress has a deleterious effect on a wide range of physical and mental health outcomes. Stress has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease, and the incidence of acute myocardial infarctions. Stress alters immune function, and those who report high levels of stress are more likely to become infected. The nervous system is also compromised during times of undue stress. Stress is associated with a host of mental symptoms as well, including cognitive dysfunction, dementia, and excessive fatigue. Stress is related to declining physical function over time and obesity, which contributes to cardiovascular disease. Thus identifying and addressing issues of stress form a significant part of our program.
Obesity, as a complex, multifactorial disease, and its health consequences probably result from the interplay of environmental, genetic, and behavioral factors. It has been suggested that the current epidemic might be associated with the influence of chemical exposures upon genetically controlled developmental pathways, leading to metabolic disorders. Some environmental chemicals, such as PCBs and pesticide residues, are widespread in food, drinking water, soil, and they exert multiple effects including estrogenic on cellular processes; some have been shown to affect the development of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Evidence exists for microorganisms, epigenetics, increasing maternal age, maternal obesity, sleep debt, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical iatrogenesis; reduction in variability of ambient temperatures, and intrauterine and intergenerational effects, as contributing factors to the obesity. While the evidence is strong for some contributors such as pharmaceutical-induced weight gain, it is still emerging for other factors. Although ten different microbes have been reported to cause obesity in various experimental models, the possible contribution of infections in the etiology of human obesity is often overlooked. Considering the etiological role of infections in several other chronic diseases, a relationship between infections and obesity is plausible. The close interaction between the function of the immune system and adipose tissue adds to this plausibility. The gut microbiome plays a role in obesity. Research has shown that thin mice transplanted with gut bacteria from fat mice gain weight and become obese without a change in diet.
A weight loss program that focuses on one or two factors that contribute to obesity, such as diet and exercise is bound to have limited effect at best, or to fail. A successful weight loss program must focus on all the scientifically known factors that contribute to overweight and obesity. We have just such a program. Our weight management program is designed from the principles, and our understanding of the science behind functional medicine. Our knowledge of how diet, physical exercise, toxins, stress, trauma, radiation, and drugs interact with our bodies to cause overweight and obesity is the cornerstone of our personalized weight loss program. We emphasize, not just diet, but exercise, detoxification, stress management, analysis of drugs which could be causing issues with weight loss. We employ our knowledge of how functional rhythms can affect your health and weight loss success or failure. We assess our patients for infections that could be contributing to weight gain, and make use of dietary supplements and probiotics in our program.
We have a customized multi-part weight management program. The component parts of our program include:
Our goal at Magnolia Health is to assess your metabolism, uncover any conditions that may impede it and design a nutrition and weight loss program that makes you optimally healthy! For people who are deemed to be very toxic, we have an optional detoxification program that can be a primer before you embark on your journey to health with us.