Mild Obesity Can Be Severely Dangerous

Who would be classified as having "mild obesity"?

People with Body Mass Index (BMI) readings of above 30 and below 35.

What are some health problems associated with obesity?

Being obese puts you at a higher risk for developing an array of unpleasant conditions. Some, such as sleep apnea, can usually be treated simply using medications and devices. Others--such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, osteoarthritis, and coronary artery disease--present much greater challenges.

How severe of a problem is obesity?

The World Health Organization, the National Center for Disease Control, and the American Heart Association all argue that obesity is a grave and growing concern for a dramatic segment of the U.S. population. Even a cursory appraisal of obesity statistics reveals terrifying trends. For instance, according to the WHO, in the early 1970s, just ~4% of kids age of 6-11 could be classified as overweight or obese. By the turn of the millennium, at least 17% of 6-11 year olds were overweight or obese--and the trend line continues to shoot up.

How can mild obesity be treated?

Most so-called solutions boil down to a variation on this idea: people need to eat less and/or exercise more.

This idea may be overwhelmingly accepted by our research community, but it is ultimately only a hypothesis. In fact, many serious researchers believe this approach is doomed to failure.

It’s not that obese people “can't control” how much they eat or “lack motivation” to exercise enough, according to this alternative idea. It’s that something physiological happens to cause people to retain abnormal deposits of adipose tissue. In other words, some factor "disregulates" how our bodies store fat.

What could this mystery factor be?

The carbohydrates in our diets. Eating carbs elevates our insulin levels, and this flood of insulin over time messes up how our fat tissue regulates itself.

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