Losing weight is one of the top priorities for many especially during the New Year’s resolutions time. As the United States and the world fight an epidemic of overweight, obesity, and diabetes, some call diabesity, it is important to examine what truly causes weight gain.

W8MD Team

W8MD Team

What is medical weight loss and how can it help me?

Medical weight loss, as opposed to surgical weight loss, involves non-surgical measures to help you reach your weight gains and to maintain it.

Before we look at the causes of weight gain and strategies to lose weight, let us look at some of the common things people search the internet. Here are some of the commonly searched questions on Google.

How common is overweight and obesity in the US?

First, let us look at obesity rate among adults in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity is common, serious, and costly.

What percent of US adults are obese?

The prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016, according to the CDC.

What medical conditions are linked to being overweight or obese?

Over 50 different medical conditions are related to being overweight or obese including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death.

What is the annual cost of obesity in the United States?

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

What truly causes obesity?

Obesity is a complex problem that has many causes. Let us look at what truly is causing the obesity, and diabetes epidemic. Although most people oversimplify this and say, it is “calories in, calories out” or “energy balance equation”, those oversimplifications rarely solve any problem and in fact can lead to “blame the victim” attitude.

Did the failed food pyramid play a role in causing the obesity and diabetes epidemic?

Over the past several decades, there has been an overemphasis on low fat diets thinking that fatty foods make one fatty and therefore, low fat foods are a solution.

However, low fat food in practicality ended up being high glycemic and high starch leading to a new problem of increased sugar loading leading to over production of a very anabolic hormone called insulin. Overtime of getting over exposed to insulin, people develop what is called insulin resistance which not only leads to compensatory increase in basal insulin levels but also leads to increased hunger, overeating an bigger portions.

What are the contributing factors for obesity?

Obesity results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including metabolic factors such as insulin resistance, lack of proper sleep, stress, medications, individual factors such as behavior and genetics.

Losing weight with W8MD

Losing weight with W8MD

What behavioral factors lead to weight gain?

Behaviors can include dietary patterns, physical activity, inactivity, medication use, and other exposures. Additional contributing factors in our society include the food and physical activity environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion.

Do genes have a role in obesity?


Genetic changes in human populations occur too slowly to be responsible for the obesity epidemic. Nevertheless, the variation in how people respond to the environment that promotes physical inactivity and intake of high-calorie foods suggests that genes do play a role in the development of obesity.

How could genes influence obesity?

Genes give the body instructions for responding to changes in its environment. Studies have identified variants in several genes that may contribute to obesity by increasing hunger and food intake.

Rarely, a clear pattern of inherited obesity within a family is caused by a specific variant of a single gene (monogenic obesity). Most obesity, however, probably results from complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors that remain poorly understood.

What about role of family history in obesity?

Health care practitioners routinely collect family health history to help identify people at high risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some forms of cancer. Family health history reflects the effects of shared genetics and environment among close relatives. Families can’t change their genes but they can change the family environment to encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity. Those changes can improve the health of family members—and improve the family health history of the next generation.

Can certain medical conditions or medications cause weight gain?

Some illnesses may lead to obesity or weight gain. These may include Cushing’s disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may also cause weight gain. The science continues to emerge on the role of other factors in energy balance and weight gain such as chemical exposures and the role of the microbiome.

A health care provider can help you learn more about your health habits and history in order to tell you whether behaviors, illnesses, medications, and/or psychological factors are contributing to weight gain or making weight loss hard.

What are the health consequences of Obesity?

People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:

What are the economic and societal consequences of obesity?

How can W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program help me?

W8MD’s medical weight loss programs can help!

If you are overweight or obese, and need help losing weight, W8MD can help. Accepting most insurances, with an evidence based practice, with many locations in the US with physicians and staff experienced and well trained, W8MD has helped thousands of patients and is ready to help you.

W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that addresses all the complex issues leading to weight gain, both in adults and children. Since its inception in 2011, W8MD has successfully helped thousands of patients succeed in not only losing weight but also keep it off with an ongoing maintenance plan. Lean more…


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