It’s no secret that obesity is one of the biggest issues our country is facing and a solution to this public health challenge has not come easily. Why? Because obesity is complex and caused by many different factors – both genetic and behavioral.
There has been an enormous amount of research trying to pinpoint causes and identify the best ways to combat obesity, and a lot of inaccurate claims are being circulated on the Internet.
But research on obese people who lose weight and then regain it illustrates how little we know about obesity and how much our inherited natural metabolism may be to blame.
Just this week, The New York Times published a fascinating piece about how people who competed on “The Biggest Loser”, NBC’s popular weight loss show, struggle to keep the weight off after the show has ended.
Researchers were shocked to find that the contestants metabolism slowed dramatically and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight, said researchers.
Dr. Michael Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher who is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, called the finding “new and important.”
“The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can’t get away from a basic biological reality,” Schwartz told The New York Times. “As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.”
No matter how you look at it, there is no silver bullet solution to both losing and maintaining a healthy weight. What works for some people, may not work for others, which is why nutritional advice that is focused solely on the elimination of one grocery item or one ingredient from the diet is not based in science. It’s about finding the balance that is right for you and your own lifestyle.