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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
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Obesity Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy The condition of obesity affects 33% of Americans. The health risks are astounding. Twenty extra pounds sextuples (multiples times six) your chances of dying in any given year. Being obese brings a markedly increased incidence of hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer. There are 300,000 deaths in the U.S. each year attributable to the side-effects of obesity. The average obese person will die five years earlier simply due to the diseases associated with obesity. The annual extra medical costs brought on by wide spread obesity is said to be seven billion dollars.

Only a five to ten percent weight loss dramatically decreases the rate of illness and death. A mere ten pound weight loss causes an average 10 mg. lowering of cholesterol, increases HDL by 3 mg. And lowers blood pressure by five points on average.

Since 1958 when the U.S. government came out with the advice to cut fat in the diet, Americans have cut their fat intake by 7%, yet the percentage of Americans who are obese has increased from 25% to 33%. The fat calories have been replaced with carbohydrate calories which are easily converted to, and stored as, fat. Still the authorities tout the low fat diet and most people march in lockstep to this mindless advice, carefully checking the fat content of their prepackaged food before buying it. Recently I saw a candy machine — at a medical lab, no less — +proudly displaying this sign: "no fat." It is tempting to give up and move to another planet.

The factors which account for obesity are the shift to high carb diets, and low levels of activity. Couch potatoes no longer need to walk to the TV to change channels, only click a button on the remote control.

Weight loss is a difficult proposition, Many people are unable to summon the will power to cut calories and increase activity in the first place. Among those who do, 95% will gain the weight back within five years. Long lasting changes in lifestyle are necessary to prevent regaining weight and few people are able to stay conscious through the barrage of commercials to eat more Cheese Crunchies and drink more exciting Fizzle-up. Stuffing the mouth has become a way of stuffing down the emotions and sedating the mind.

Weight loss is achieved by a reorganization of eating habits with adoption of a rigorous daily exercise program. This kind of sea change in living can succeed if the sugar metabolism is working well. For details on this subject, see Hormonal Aspects of Weight Control. With a sluggish metabolism the changes required to loose weight and keep it off are more of a health hazard than the obesity itself. Also, it helps to have all the hormones balanced to youthful levels. For this subject, see Hormone Replacement Therapy.

The leading hormones which are useful in weight loss are DHEA and HGH. If the thyroid system is not functioning well, it too must be brought back to normal before real success in weight reduction can be achieved. See Thyroid Dysfunction and Wilson's syndrome.

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The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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