Vinluan: Obesity: Disease or lifestyle? (part 1 of 2) | SunStar

Vinluan: Obesity: Disease or lifestyle? (part 1 of 2)

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Vinluan: Obesity: Disease or lifestyle? (part 1 of 2)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

AS WE in Asia become more urban, the presence of new technology makes more people sedentary and as a result, more and more people are becoming obese.

A debate in the medical world is raging to determine if obesity is actually a disease or simply a matter of poor diet and lack of exercise.

The simple answer is that it can be both, because there are people with medical conditions, like those with hypothyroidism which is a common disorder of the endocrine glands, that needs medical help, as well as people who should eat better and exercise, or should people suffering from diabetes or heart disease caused by excess weight be classified as obese or having a “metabolic syndrome”, or should there be more emphasis on changing lifestyle options of eating right and exercising more?

For the past years, experts have searched for ways to reverse weight gain, because the reasons behind gaining and losing weight are complicated that they learned and involved more than just diet and exercise.

Advanced technology came up with drugs which can help suppress and maintain weight to control obesity as well as surgery which is increasingly done but has their own side effects and risks. The quest isn’t easy, even as technology advancement piles drugs and methods to put an end to the condition that can trigger a host of serious diseases.

While many behavior experts don’t think of genetics often it has a genetic basis, because some people get hungrier sooner than others, some fill-up less quickly, and while others overdo eating, others are emotional eaters that specific treatments are needed to deal with the various causes of obesity.

The future is bright for the development of better, safer and effective drugs, where there will be more choices and specific treatment for obesity, but what really works now aside from the expensive treatment can’t be viewed as the ultimate solution. Although the idea is to prevent more people from becoming obese, the best solution there is to change your shape is by changing your lifestyle.

Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on May 18, 2017.

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