How Does Fat Affect Us?
Fat can slow us down and change the ways our bodies look, but it can also affect us on a chemical level. Though we often think of fat as useless cushioning, body fat can have a strong influence on the body’s functions and contribute to numerous health problems as we develop more of it.
“Excess body fat sets off a whole cascade of medical conditions that include inflammation of the arteries and inflammation throughout the body,” says Dr. Robert Ziltzer, a medical obesity specialist.
These detrimental effects of fat help to explain why weight loss can dramatically improve your health and protect you from serious conditions.
The Functions of Fat
One of fat’s roles is to help us save extra energy. When we take in more calories than we can use, our bodies can convert this energy to fat and store it in fat cells. However, as our fat cells continue to grow and multiply, they can become overburdened and begin polluting the body, influencing the way we regulate important functions.
Think of each fat cell as a balloon. When there isn’t much air in the balloon, it isn’t stressed or likely to pop. When the balloon continues to be pumped full of air, however, it becomes more unstable as it stretches, and it may start to leak.
Just like a balloon, fat cells become more volatile as they grow larger. They can begin secreting chemicals that induce inflammation, which can cause a variety of health problems.
“Each fat cell, as it gets stretched out, sends signals to the rest of the body that cause an inflammatory reaction,” says Craig Primack, MD.
This inflammatory reaction contributes to hypertension and other obesity-related diseases. But fat cells can also lead to increased estrogen production in the body, and according to Dr. Primack, this is why obesity is linked to estrogen-sensitive cancers like breast cancer and uterine cancer.
“Having excess fat is almost like taking a hormone pill by itself,” Dr. Primack says.
Fat’s influence on our hormones can even cause hunger. Our fat stores produce the hormone leptin, which is responsible for telling our brains when we’re full. As we get rid of fat, our bodies produce less leptin, which makes us hungrier as our bodies attempt to regain some of the energy stores lost by burning fat.
“When we use medications as part of a program, we’re trying to suppress the drive from those hormones that increase hunger and lessen fullness,” Dr. Primack says.
Burning Fat for Better Health
Eating a low-calorie, high-protein diet will help your body begin burning fat for fuel, reducing the size of the fat cells and returning them to normal function. As you lose weight and the fat cells start to shrink, levels of inflammatory chemicals are reduced, hunger becomes less severe and you reduce your risk of developing obesity-related illnesses. This is one reason that losing weight can have such a positive influence on your health.Related Posts
For many years, obesity was considered a problem of willpower, but the American Medical Association now classifies it as a disease. Obesity has spread across the United States in recent history, leaving about two-thirds of American adults overweight or obese and at risk of developing obesity related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
By its simplest definition, obesity means we have too much body fat, but the causes and effects of the condition can be complicated.
Reviewing Your Weight Loss Options
Weight loss is a huge industry in the United States. More than $60 billion is spent on weight loss programs, dieting methods, gym memberships and celebrity endorsed obesity-cures annually, and that number continues to grow. With an estimated two-thirds of the U.S adult population struggling with their weight this is not too surprising. Unfortunately, not all of this money will be invested into programs that encourage long-term weight loss.
Belviq for Weight Loss
Weight loss medications play a critical role in the weight loss process. The goal of medications is to encourage healthy habits by making it easier to follow a low-calorie diet. When combined with healthy dietary habits and regular activity, weight loss medications can encourage long-term weight loss success.
Belviq (lorcaserin) is an FDA-approved weight loss medication that influences appetite to reduce calorie consumption. It was the first medication of its kind to be approved by the FDA in a 13-year period.
Qsymia for Weight Loss
Qsymia is an FDA-approved weight loss medication that promotes weight loss by controlling appetite. The medication is recommended as one component of a comprehensive weight loss plan that features physician guidance and support, dietary changes and regular physical activity. When used in conjunction with healthy behaviors like these, the medication is proven to enhance weight loss.
What is a Bariatrician?
A bariatrician, also known as a bariatric physician or more recently an obesity medicine specialist, is a licensed physician with detailed training in the many aspects of medicine that are affected by obesity. Because of the surprising complexity of the disease of obesity, it takes a specialized weight loss physician, a bariatrician, to help patients lose weight, maintain weight loss, and avoid medical conditions and complications that are often associated with being overweight or obese.
Where is that Weight Coming From?
Obesity rates in the U.S. have soared in the past five decades, climbing from 13.4 percent of the adult population in 1960, to 35.7 percent in 2012. Nearly 70 percent of adults are either overweight or obese. While many people would like to blame obesity on genetic factors, these data tell a different story.
Yes, some people may have a genetic predisposition to excess weight, but for the vast majority of the population, there are other factors at play.
Studies Show Link Between Obesity and Cancer
If you’re overweight or obese, you’re not alone: According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about 70 percent of adults in the United States are right there with you. That’s a sharp increase from 1994, when about 56 percent of U.S. adults were overweight or obese. Being obese carries significant health risks, such as sharp increases in the risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attack and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, many types of cancer.