In a breakthrough study from the University of Michigan Health System, researchers have discovered that long term obesity may be extremely difficult to reverse. The study, published in the October Journal of Clinical Investigation, may explain why severe food restriction and exercising often do not work for many people who are in the late stages of chronic obesity.
Long Term Obesity
According to the study, individuals who are chronically overweight often have difficulty permanently losing that weight. It appears that there is a mechanism in the body that might turn on weight gain and obesity over the long term. For people who have been overweight since childhood, it can become problematic to maintain healthy body weights despite initial success with restrictive diets and excessive exercise.
According to the study authors, “our model demonstrates that obesity is in part a self-perpetuating disorder and the results emphasize the importance of early intervention in childhood to try to prevent the condition whose effects can last a lifetime.” However, the study did not determine at what point obesity becomes irreversible. It is a no-brainer that healthy eating, and 30 minutes of exercise each day reduces your risk of chronic diseases. If what the research provides holds true, it is even more important to start living a healthy lifestyle right now, as we don’t know the exact point at which the “obesity switch” might turn on.
The study goes on to say, “Obesity affects more than 500 million adults and 43 million children younger than age five, while related illnesses are the leading preventable cause of death.”
Children who are overweight in childhood are at much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, doctors are now seeing higher rates of illnesses once thought only to affect adults as a result of childhood obesity. These illnesses are preventable with physical activity and healthy diet learned early in childhood.
Since chronic obesity is often set into motion during childhood years, it is important for children to learn how to make healthy choices about food and how to be physically active to maintain appropriate weight levels. According to this study, childhood obesity can be extremely hard to reverse in adulthood, even with initial weight loss success.
Teaching children about healthy eating and encouraging physical activity is the best way to prevent childhood onset of adult health problems. Even with chronic weight problems, it is important to attempt to attempt to maintain a healthy weight.
Do you struggle with your weight? What happens when you lose weight? Does it stay off or does it come back?
– The Alternative Daily