For those who are morbidly obese, the question of, “Why me?” can often enter the thought process. Others assume, as conventional wisdom tells them, that the problem is simply caused by overeating.
Morbid obesity, however, is not always the result of eating more calories than are burned. Research shows that the cause is genetic in many cases. Obesity tends to run in families. However, the body weight of adopted children shows no correlation with the body weight of their adoptive parents, who feed them and teach them how to eat. Their weight does have an 80 percent correlation with their genetic parents, whom they have never met. Identical twins, who have the same genes, show a much higher similarity of body weight than do fraternal twins, who have different genes.
Although genetic factors figure significantly into the equation, environmental factors cannot be ignored. In fact, the two are closely intertwined. If you have a genetic predisposition toward obesity, the modern American lifestyle and environment may make controlling weight more difficult. Fast food, long days sitting at a desk, and suburban neighborhoods that require cars all magnify hereditary factors such as metabolism and efficient fat storage.
While science continues to search for answers, weight control is something that patients must work at their entire lives. That is why it is very important to understand that all current medical interventions, including weight loss surgery, are not medical cures. Rather, they are tools to reduce the effects of excessive weight and alleviate the serious physical, emotional and social consequences of the disease.
If you are struggling to reach a healthy body weight, contact our office today to see how we can help you reach your goals.