What controls weight gain and weight loss? Why is one person prone to weight gain and obesity and another can eat all they want and never gain a kilogram? These simple questions are some of the most complex to answer, because scientists and researchers do not have a definitive, catch-all answer to weight gain and weight loss.
The issue with weight management, researchers say, is that obesity and its precursor — being overweight — are not one disease but many, like cancer. “You can look at two people with the same amount of excess body weight and they put on the weight for very different reasons,” said Dr. Arya Sharma, medical director of the obesity program at the University of Alberta.
This analysis goes a long way to explaining why weight loss treatment is so difficult and why weight management efforts fail so often. Dr. Pansak Sugraroek, Medical Director at the Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital, agrees and says if obesity is seen as the combination of many factors and not just one, then it helps patients understand there are many pathways to treat obesity and weight gain.
Genetics plays a key role in weight gain and obesity and researchers have tied 25 genes directly to obesity. Yet, Dr. Ruth Loos with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says the more likely scenario is that we inherit a collection of genes that predispose us to weight gain. Research has also uncovered that medications can contribute to weight gain in some people. Those include medications for psychiatric disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders, beta blockers and steroids. Diseases like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease also contribute to weight gain, as do hormonal imbalances.
While the cause of obesity may be a mystery, the black and white reality is that obesity rates are soaring globally and healthcare systems around the world are dealing with a problem of epidemic proportions. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight and of those 600 million are obese. Globally, we are all falling into the same trap of eating more energy-dense foods high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates and living a more sedentary lifestyle due to urbanization.
While a multi-billion-dollar industry has been built around weight management and obesity, physicians and medical professionals across the board all agree that the best form of weight management is to adopt good lifestyle routines. It is now estimated that 70-80% of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, and some cancers are attributed to poor lifestyle management.
Dr. Pansak says that people who struggle with weight management often look for simple solutions or diets that help shed weight without fully understanding the genetic, medical and bio-chemical make up of their bodies. “Everyone is looking for the silver bullet to control weight”, says Dr. Pansak “but the reality is that it takes time to assess and treat the root cause of weight gain. Attacking the symptoms will not work, or at least not for long.”
The Vitallife Wellness Clinic at Bumrungrad International Hospital specializes in weight management programs. The clinic specializes in lifestyle medicine, and takes a holistic view to weight management by looking at diet, activity levels, genetics, bio-chemistry and lifestyle habits.
The VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center located on the campus of Bumrungrad International Hospital is a global leader in the provision of scientifically-based integrated medicine. Its programs are managed and run by US Board Certified doctors specializing in the center’s Future Health concept, covering predictive, preventive, regenerative, and revitalizing health care.
It is the first medical wellness center in Asia to be accredited by the World Council on Clinical Accreditation (awarded in November 2007). It is also the first compounding pharmacy in Southeast Asia.
Vitallife is the first wellness center in the world to be accredited to DNV.GL’s International Accreditation Standard for Outpatient Specialist Centers. DNV.GL is a globally respected quality accreditation organization renowned for integrity in certification, standards development and risk management in many sectors including healthcare. DNV.GL International Healthcare Accreditation is based on standards approved by the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Vitallife is a 100% owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Bumrungrad International Hospital since 2001.
For more information please contact:
VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit