Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Obesity: The Beast Within

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 12:03 PM

In a recent article in the Lancet, Feb., 2015 edition, leaders in obesity research and treatment ; Doctors Ochner, Tsai, Kushner and Thomas Wadden, reported that treating obesity is unlikely to be successful with diet and lifestyle modifications alone. The have found that there are many BIOLOGICAL factors that contribute to the failure of many obese patients to succeed with the long held protocol of lower calories and more exercise.

The authors have found that there are biological factors that are tend to make obesity a more challenging problem to treat and successfully overcome. First, there is the fact that with obesity comes an increase in adipose cells(fat cells) and there is a perpetual pull for the body, no matter how much weight may be lost, to return to a “stamped in” weight. There is a pull for the body to refill the adipose cells and it is drawn to the highest weight that it ever attained, and even sometimes a higher weight then previous seen.

Also, there are factors in the CNS, or dopamine pathways, that lead to a heightened sense of deprivation and lack of satisfaction. The obese individual is constantly reminded that they are in a “reward deprivation” state and are more prone to over consume foods to reward themselves.

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These are two of the most basic biologic forces that occur in the obese patient and it is necessary to realize that these are hormonal factors that need to be treated and followed with the patient. None of these changes can be CURED but they can be more adequately treated with adjuncts to diet and lifestyle changes. Some of the necessary additions to the typical recommendations are :

  1. The use of appetite suppressants – these may help short term but in the obese individual, they may need to be used over time for maintenance as well. The can help stop some of the cravings and some of the impulses that are driving patients to eat to feel satisfied.

  2. Surgery: Many times this can be a successful addition to changes in diet and lifestyle. Some of the new procedures – such as gastric banding and sleeve, are safer and have been found to be quite successful

  3. Vagal Nerve Blockade: This is used to help with maintaining lower intake as well as blocking some of the impulses to seek food for rewards


What is GROUND BREAKING about this article is that these well renowned medical professionals are educating the public in regards to treating weight loss and to increase awareness that obesity needs to be treated as a disease with true biological and hormonal changes that need to be addressed throughout one’s life.


To read the full article click here:


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