Obesity: The Modern Plague

It is no exaggeration to say that body weight has become the most serious health threat to face mankind. This emerging obesity epidemic is associated with metabolic syndrome – the gateway to most chronic diseases, including cancer.

Recent figures confirm this growing trend. Statistics from 2013 show that 61% of the UK and 70% of the US population fall within obesity and overweight categories (BMI 25 and over).

However, while these groups are at high risk of serious chronic diseases, it is not too late. It is possible to make simple changes to your lifestyle that will improve your vitality and reduce your chances of chronic disease.

Whether you know you are obese, suspect you may be, or want to avoid this scenario; this blog provides advice for losing the fat and maintaining a healthy body.

Accurate Ways To Measure Obesity

Body Mass Index (BMI) was the tool initially used to assess obesity and disease risk, however it has been proved to be less accurate particularly in children and athletes.

A more accurate way of measuring obesity comes out of research by a French physician, JeanVague in 1947 who noticed that the male pattern of fat accumulation in the abdomen (android) is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This paved the way to using waist circumference (WC) measurements to assess abdominal fat. The reading is taken with a tape just above the belly button. Risk of disease increases exponentially with WC of 100cm (40 inches) or above, in men and 80cm (32 inches) or above, in women.

For a better indication of the risk of chronic disease, a waist hip ratio (WHR) is more accurate. The hip circumference measurement is taken at the level of bony projections on the side of your pelvis. The waist circumference is then divided by the hip measurement (w-h=WHR) Results above 0.95 in men and 0.80 in women should raise concern.

Even more accurate measurements can be taken using a MRI scan: the gold standard of measuring visceral (adnominal) fat. This can accurately measure the volume of disease associated fat in the abdominal organs such as liver and pancreas.

Obesity And Chronic Disease

Historically, risk of cardiovascular disease was driven by smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Interestingly these risk factors have now been replaced by obesity and diabetes relating to a combination of highly processed, energy dense food and sedentary lifestyles.

The following factors can all result in obesity. While you cannot do anything about your genes, it is possible to take control of other factors that could lead to metabolic syndrome.

  • Genes,
  • Refined sugar,
  • Stress,
  • Smoking,
  • Excessive alcohol,
  • Environmental toxins,
  • Lack of sleep,
  • Gut bacteria imbalance,
  • Prescription drugs such as cholesterol pills and statins.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome (prediabetes) is the term used to describe a cluster of clinical conditions including central obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and abnormal lipid profile. This combination can progress to full blown diabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease and stoke.

Refined sugar and a sedentary lifestyle is often the reason people develop metabolic syndrome. Regular consumption can make your cells resistant to insulin, making you diabetic or pre-diabetic. This causes your pancreas to create more insulin, also known as the fat storage hormone, which results in your body storing more abdominal fat.

Time To Take Action

Fortunately you can do something about this. If you are concerned about obesity and diabetes it is possible to get your body systems back into balance and reduce your cardiovascular diseases risk.

People at early stages of being overweight, with a mild insulin resistance, will benefit from simple weight reduction. However very high risk individual with metabolic syndrome, hardened arteries, diabetes and high blood pressure would require intensive and immediate risk factors modification. If you would like to discuss how this can be achieved, contact me directly to discuss your situation.

A healthy diet is essential to help lose the fat and reduce risk of chronic disease. Follow these guidelines:

  • Eat every 3 to 4 hours to avoid insulin spikes
  • Mediterranean diet of natural, whole grains, fresh vegetable, fruits beans, legumes, olive oil, fish and nuts,
  • Eat colourful fruit and vegetable with phytonutrients and antioxidants,
  • Have animal or plant based protein with every meal,
  • Avoid processed and refined sugar and carbohydrates especially soft drinks and soda that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS),
  • Avoid proinflammatory vegetable oils and instead cook with coconut or extra virgin olive oil. Also refrain from fast food that contains toxic trans fat,
  • Refrain from smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Pursue a combination of cardio and strength training 5 to 6 times a week.
  • Enjoy 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep every night.
  • You also need light, clean water, air, love, connection, meaning and purpose.

Disease will go away as side effect of health. Dark and light cannot exist together.

Have you taken the 5 Minute Vitality Test? Click here to find out your vitality score, the health risks you current face, and how to lose the fat and get your vitality back.

If you have any queries about the subjects covered in this post, or concerns about your health that you would like to discuss, I can offer you a 10 minute free consultation. Call our Harley Street Clinic on 020 7016 2113 to book today.