Obesity and being overweight is the #1 health problem in the U.S.
The term “overweight” refers to increased body weight in relation to height, when compared to a standard of acceptable or desirable weight. Overweight may or may not be due to increases in body fat. It may also be due to an increase in lean muscle.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of the relationship (or ratio) of weight-to-height. It is a formula in which body weight in kilograms is divided by the square of a person's height in meters.
The BMI is more highly correlated with body fat than any other indicator of height and weight. Individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
- An estimated 61% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more.
- Among U.S. adults, 35% of the population is overweight.
- Among U.S. adults, 27% of the population is obese.
Overweight may be due to a variety of causes. These include:
- Poor dietary habits
- Lack of exercise
- Eating more calories than are utilized
- Insulin resistance (a condition where your body does not respond to the pancreatic hormone insulin). Research shows that controlling insulin levels is a key factor in effective weight loss.
- Hypothyroidism (slow metabolism)
- Chronic stress (which leads to overactive adrenal glands)
- Adverse food reactions or intolerances which promote weight retention
- Deficiencies in nutrients which are necessary for proper metabolism
- Genetic factors
- An increase in fat cells and adipose tissue mass during infancy and childhood--and for some severely obese persons, even during adulthood--predisposes to obesity.
- Medications. Weight gain can be produced by many medications, especially steroid hormones, some antidepressants, some tranquilizers, and some antipsychotic drugs.
Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for health problems including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High blood cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries”)
- Angina pectoris (severe, often constricting, chest pain)
- Congestive heart failure
- Insulin resistance/glucose intolerance
- Hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels in the blood which is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease)
- Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes
- Gallstones and other gall bladder problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Some types of cancer (such as endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon)
- Complications of pregnancy
- Poor female reproductive health (such as menstrual irregularities, infertility, irregular ovulation)
- Bladder control problems (such as urinary stress incontinence)
- Uric acid kidney stones
- Psychological disorders (such as depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, and low self esteem).
- Determination of BMI from height and weight
- Evaluation to rule out underlying/contributing causes of overweight
- Identification of health risk factors
- History and symptoms
- Physical exam
- Laboratory studies (may vary depending on presenting symptoms)
- Fasting glucose
- Fasting insulin or C-Peptide
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone levels
- Fasting lipid profile, including LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- DHEA-S level
- Cortisol levels
- Food allergy testing
- Prolactin level
- Testosterone level
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels
- Leuteinizing Hormone (LH) level
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level
- Tests to assess risk of cardiovascular disease such as homocysteine, lipoprotein (a), Cardio CRP
- Tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms (heavy metal testing, candida testing, etc.)
The doctors at The Connecticut Center for Health are very experienced in how to achieve permanent weight loss. We have helped dozens of people attain their weight loss goals.
If you would like to learn more about natural medicine approaches to weight loss, contact one of our clinics for a free consultation about weight loss or an appointment.
One of our physicians will work with you to develop an individualized weight loss program that may include:
- Identifying and addressing underlying factors that make weight loss difficult or impossible.
- Helping you to develop a dietary plan that balances insulin levels, supports metabolism, and decreases food cravings.
- Supporting you to make dietary changes through detailed supportive dietary counseling.
- Developing and helping you to incorporate an exercise plan that is right for your fitness level and lifestyle.
- Developing a plan of targeted nutritional supplementation that will support weight loss through hormonal balancing and metabolism support.