Unexplained Weight Loss and Weight Gain: Mystery Weight Fluctuations and the Root Cause of Obesity

Unexplained weight loss and weight gain can shine light on the root cause of obesity. This essay will explain why.



Why do drugs, genetic abnormalities, medical conditions, pollution, and other factors cause weight changes?

According to conventional thinking, overeating and inactivity lead to weight gain, and diet and exercise lead to weight loss. Unexplained weight loss or gain, therefore, can only be understood in terms of appetite and/or metabolism. For instance, let's say someone gains weight while on an antidepressant. The presumption would be that the drug made her hungrier, driving her to eat excess calories. Thus, the weight gain.

The other hypothesis about what makes us fat says that "mystery" weight changes result when these X factors do something to the fat tissue itself. This then leads to the storage (or release) of fat. Perhaps a medication causes elevation of insulin levels, for instance. This would drive the storage of fat in the fat tissue, irrespective of changes to diet or exercise. In other words, mystery weight gain/loss has nothing to do with appetite or physical activity (or lack thereof). It has to do with what is going on inside the fat tissue itself.

So which theory makes more sense? Let's look at specific classes of medications, diseases and hormonal changes to see whether evidence from the real world can help us decide between these two hypotheses. Click on any link for details:


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