Obesity is the leading cause of chronic disease in the western world. While good people can disagree on whether it is a truly medical disease, all agree that it is the biggest precursor to many diseases. There is data that suggests that by just reducing the obesity rates, we can reduce the overall cost of health care. Obesity can be considered the leading cause of death and sickness.

Definition: An increase in a person’s body weight 20% above the ideal for a person based on their height, age, sex and body structure. It is specifically accumulation of fat above the ideal

Dr. Geni Abraham

Causes

A lifestyle of unhealthy diet, inactivity, unmanaged stress, lack of sleep, some genetic factors, our environment and exposure to endocrine disrupters all contribute to our weight gain. Once our weight starts to increase, we develop changes biochemically which worsens the situation.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Prevention

Whole foods, mostly plants, well balanced so we get the right amount of macronutrients of complex carbohydrates, protein and fats, and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) is the cornerstone of a healthy diet

Increase your physical activity level by participating in sports, group classes, dancing, gardening or any other physical activity.

Focus on managing your stress with community support, meditation, prayer etc.

Develop good sleep habits

Dr. Geni Abraham

Management

Lifestyle Medicine

Nutrition : Get rid of bad eating habits and replace them with good foods that are good for you and benefit you. The most beneficial foods are whole foods, minimally processed, full of color. Drink plenty of water at least ½ your ideal weight in ounces

Exercise : For health maintenance 150 min/week is suggested. That is a place to start and build on. A combination of aerobic, strength and flexibility is best

Sleep Hygiene : It is important to get refreshing sleep at least 7-8 hours. Very few people can survive long term without negative physical effects on less sleep.

Stress Management: Unmanaged stress leads to wrong type of eating. The elevated cortisol results in weight gain, water retention, insulin resistance, increased inflammation. Stress is our reaction to a situation. Learning to manage our response goes a long way to improving our overall health

Medication Support : There are medications that help by suppressing appetite. But without making the needed changes as outlined above there is no long-term success.

Dr. Geni Abraham

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