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Obesity and Overweight – A Real Epidemic

Don't look now, but there really is a real health epidemic in the US. The percentage of people who are classified as overweight and obese has skyrocketed in the last 30 years or so. The problem with this is, that the more overweight you are, the more health problems you have. This includes high blood pressure, more advanced forms of heart disease (the leading cause of death in the US for about 50 years now), diabetes, arthritis, cancer, respiratory disease and many other chronic illnesses. Being overweight is one major factor that sets us up for a lifetime of gradually worsening health problems.

2019 Obesity Rates – Source CDC. Percentage of population that are obese

The graphic I've posted shows a current map of obesity rate in the US, from 2019. To put this in perspective, in 1985 there were no states with obesity rates higher than the 15-20 category. Now, 2019, there are no states lower than the 20-25% category.

We Americans are getting fatter; ridiculously fatter. This truly is a health crisis. The reasons are food quality, environmental toxins and pollution, and various lifestyle factors. How much time do you and your kids spend playing video games versus being outdoors playing actual games? When was the last time you went for a hike?

These data are not the demographics of a healthy population. Instead, when we track obesity rates over time – I've saved the data from 1985 up to the present time – what we see is a population whose health is rapidly declining. In my book Heal Your Life, Heal the World I explore many other ways where this is demonstrated. I examine areas such as lifespan, infant mortality, and maternal deaths during childbirth, which are some of the classic measures of the overall health of a population. The US is dropping down the world rankings quickly in all these and other measures.

So the answer to this problem should be easy, right? Everyone go on a diet, count calories, sign up for one of the famous weight loss programs advertised on TV, we all get healthier, and all our dreams will come true.

Every year in January, New Year's resolutions drive huge amounts of the population to the gym, to the weight loss program offices, and for the first month, everything seems great. A few pounds come off, women drop down a dress size or two, men take up a belt notch or two. Then during the second month, lifestyle issues take over, old habits don't want to die and reassert themselves, and the weight starts to creep back on.

The diet and weight loss industry has been playing the same song for generations now; calories in minus calories burned and if the number is negative you will loose weight. Only someone forgot to read that advertising script to the human genome. Our genetics get the final say, though not in the way most of you might think.

There are actually 17 Major factors affecting our weight and fat balance, of which caloric balance is only 1. If any of the major caloric balance diet programs worked long term, then regaining our ideal weight would be easy, everyone would be doing it, and the graph of obesity by states shown above would look very different.

This is why I first created my weight loss class a number of years ago called the Weight Loss Puzzle. In my clinical practice I found that the average person who is overweight or obese needs to work with at least half of these 17 factors.

If you or someone you know is overweight or obese, please share this blog with them and the link just below to my class. When you are ready to make real progress with controlling your weight, you will probably need more of these 17 factors than just counting calories.

So, unless you are radically different than most people, the next thing on your mind is "what are the 17 areas that affect weight?" Well, here they are:

  1. Food Quality

  2. Adverse Food Reactions

  3. Mental/Emotional reasons for eating

  4. Key Nutrients

  5. Caloric Balance

  6. Exercise

  7. Stress

  8. Neurotransmitters

  9. Thyroid System

  10. Body Temperature

  11. Hormones

  12. Hypothalamic Set Point

  13. Blood Sugar Control

  14. Inflammation

  15. Environmental Toxins

  16. Genetics

  17. Sleep

Obviously, in this blog I can't cover them all – that is what my two-day class is about. This course will explain all of these, help you determine which are the most important ones for you to focus on, and start you off on a scientifically proven process to restore your healthy weight. Click through to the link to read a bit more and register for the class.

Here's to your good health,

Dr. Cage

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