Obesity The Scale of the Problem
Since 1980 the number of obese adults has nearly tripled, over half of all men and a staggering two thirds of all women are now exclusively overweight or obese, and these numbers are rising rapidly. The rise is such that the problem has been officially reclassified as "The Obesity Epidemic" and has donned the nickname "Globisity".
Obesity is rapidly overtaking smoking as the major cause of avoidable premature death, diabetes alone, which has been proved to have a very close relationship with being overweight or obese, currently claims more lives that smoking.
These shocking figures that refer to the health of the population have been known for some time but until recently little has been done to attempt to stem the flow of Obesity.
The Financial Cost
In recent years though the financial cost of Obesity and related diseases is becoming clear in the UK alone where the figures are easier to calculate thanks to the National Health Service it has been revealed that Obesity is costing the Health Service in excess of £ 6.2 billion per annual, Diabetes alone is currently costing over £ 1 million every hour.
To put these figures into better perspective we should note that Smoking only costs the Nation £ 1.4 billion. And these figures are set to rise in line with the rise in obesity and the related diseases.
It has been thanks to these "financial bombshell" figures that have prompted the Government to release substantial funding to enable proper research in the subject of Obesity in an attempt to stem the tide. The results so far have started to ring alarm bells.
Current Research, the results
Research is beginning to show that in many cases being overweight or Obese is the direct result of substance abuse, in our case the substance being processed foods, which can be just as psychologically addictive to the user as would be the narcotic of choice to the habitual drug user, or alcohol to the alcoholic, or indeed cigarettes to the smoker.
How can simple food be addictive, you may well ask? Well simple food is not addictive imagine a Country where all you could eat was plain rice, beans and vegetables would there be much Obesity, I think not!
The truth is that only highly processed foods are addictive, and those that are the most addictive are also those that are most dangerous to our health, energy laden, full of sugars, and fats, with added salt and other flavor enhancers, scientifically engineered to be addictive one might argument, almost designed so that we not only want to but are able to consume far more than we need, and in many cases more than we want.
Clinical research has shown that the brain of the Overweight or Obese person is in many respects similar to that of the habitual drug user, and will have far less D2 receptors (pleasure receptors) that that of a normal test subject, or the levels of dopamine (the bodies natural pleasure giving drug) released into the body as a reward are reduced in the Overweight or Obese person as they would be in the Habitual Drug User. Even more worrying the higher the Body Mass Index of the test subjects the fewer D2 receptors or lower levels of dopamine released for any given stimuli.
One of many clinical trials involved giving squirts of either Chocolate Milkshake or squirts of a tasteless fluid to a large trial group while subjecting them to an MRI brain scan to determine the levels of Dopamine released when a squirt of the tasty chocolate milkshake was administrated, it was predicted that those who released the lower depths of the pleasure giving dopamine would be those who were most likely to put on most weight over the coming year as they would be more tempted to overest to compensate for this deficient reward no prize for a correct guess these generating the lower levels of dopamine shown substantial gain gain over these with high levels of dopamine.
There have been numerous clinical tests to substantiate these claims, which in truth is no surprise, the big food manufactures have been researching and exploiting this knowledge for years.
So now that we have established that if you are overweight or obese it may not be your fault, but I am afraid that you do not really help, you are still overweight or obese and this is a very dangerous problem that you must resolve, It is clear that this recent research will go a long way to improve future treatment of the condition, but as yet no safe and effective weight loss drug is currently available. There are however several ways that we can teach and trick the body into thinking that the …
But that is another story.