Why is Obesity a Disease?

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Obesity

At Concierge Medicine of Jupiter, our philosophy is to change the idea that obesity is a character flaw caused by insufficient willpower, lack of discipline, or bad choices. Since 2013, the American Medical Association has recognized this condition as a true disease- one requiring treatment and management by medical professionals. Through research we now know that one of the hallmarks of obesity is disordered signals for hunger and satiety (the feeling of fullness) making it difficult or even impossible for many to lose weight and keep it off.

In the simplest terms- excess body fat is metabolically active and can cause an abnormal and unrelenting drive for feeding- making weight management even more difficult when compared to those who are not obese.

The pathophysiology of obesity is only partially understood and research is ongoing. Obesity is related to genetic, psychological, physical, metabolic, neurological, and hormonal impairments. It is intimately linked to heart disease, sleep apnea, certain cancers, and many other illnesses. It is also one of the major risk factors for poor outcomes in COVID19 infection. Obesity is one of the few medical conditions that can negatively influence social and interpersonal relationships.

The good news is that shedding even a modest number of pounds can have significant health benefits. Sustained weight loss of just five percent of body weight can significantly lower blood pressure, blood glucose and improve blood lipids.

Obesity has finally been recognized as a disease. We firmly believe it should also be treated as such- just as we do for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. There are new medicines that can be offered, surgery for advanced cases, and new diet and nutritional approaches with a proven track record.

 

Our physicians at Concierge Medicine of Jupiter, Catherine G. Drourr, M.D.  and Yana Shtern, M.D., have a passion for preventative medicine with nutrition and weight management a cornerstone of our practice. If you want to find out more information about our VIP membership practice, contact us at Concierge Medicine of Jupiter today to learn more about our personalized weight management program.