This is a perfect example of how online weight loss “experts” can confuse and harm the American consumer… The obesity debate?
During a dinner conversation with a friend, the topic of laziness was brought up. From there, we somehow got to the topic of obesity. He told me, “A great example of how bad laziness can be is obesity.”
“Excuse me,” I coughed (almost shocking on the last bite).
“You know, obese people don’t do anything. They’re fat because they’re lazy,” my friend said like an authority. This was going to be a long dinner, I realized.
It turns out that my friend read an article posted on the net that started with a statement similar to my friend’s words that almost choked me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the author’s name, but the title was fitness and exercise — I haven’t found it… yet.
What amazes me is the ease with which people believe what is written in a website of someone who calls himself an expert! Tea real the experts need to start making some noise!
Laziness does not cause obesity. If that were so, obesity would be the norm and would not be considered a problem. I recently came across a wonderful definition of obesity… it covers all the possibilities in one clear sentence:
The etiology of obesity is complex, determined by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors -Andrea Baessler, from her recent article in Diabetes, January 2005.
There has never been a debate about the causes of obesity. We have always known that obesity has a multifactorial etiology. The “real” issues of debate are which environmental factors and which genes increase the risk or incidence of obesity. The remainder of the article reviews recent work on two genetic links to obesity.
The work of Delphine Eberle (Diabetes, August 2004), with the sterol regulatory element binding protein transcription factorfound that the two isoforms are linked to “plasma leptin concentrations in obese American families.”
His group hypothesized that “…genetic variations of the SREB-1 gene might be associated with obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.”
Interestingly, SREB-1 gene polymorphisms were found among obese compared with non-obese cohorts. This means that they are correct and possibly not far from marking the SREB-1 gene as a clear link to obesity (1).
Ghrelin receptor gene (GHSR)
The importance of ghrelin in the central regulation of feeding has been demonstrated in animals and humans. Ghrelin increases appetite and food intake in normal subjects and in patients with decreased appetite, such as those with cancer cachexia. Recent evidence suggests that obesity is associated with impairment of the entire ghrelin system (2).
In addition to its biological function, the ghrelin receptor gene is located at a quantitative trait locus or QTL strongly linked to six obesity phenotypes (1).
This is a second strong genetic association with obesity. Both groups will soon have conclusive evidence to back up their arguments about the genetic links of SREB-1 and GHSR to obesity.
As far as I know, sloth was not mentioned even once. How many wonderful people avoid treatment because they really believe it’s their fault?
Educate at all costs.
Dr. Michael A. Smith
Additional information is available from The Weight Loss Professional
- Baessler A, Hasinoff J, Fischer M: Genetic linkage and association of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor gene in human obesity. Diabetes, January 2005.
- Eberle D. SREB-1 gene polymorphisms are associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes in French obese and diabetic cohorts. Diabetes, August 2004.
- Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Ogden CL, Johnson CL: Prevalence and trends of obesity among US adults, 1999-2000. JAMA 288:1723-1727, 2002