How Did we Get so Fat? The Obesity Epidemic in America

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In the modern age we have more access to resources than ever before. This easy access has been what has allowed us to advance as far as we have. Some resources, like food, we now have an over abundance of. As a matter of fact we have such an over abundance of foods that the government pays farmers not to grow certain foods so that the supply doesn’t exceed the demand and prices can be controlled. Because of this overabundance we have gotten, to be blunt, fat as a nation. The Center for Disease Control reported that 68.8% are overweight and that 38% of Americans are obese. As a result of this our health care cost associated with these statistics have reached a whopping $147 Billion annually.

How Did This Happen?

We don’t have to look to far back to see how our calorie consumption has changed. Even if we only go as far back as the 80’s we see a 20% increase in the number of calories your average person consumed in a day. If we look at basic physiology we will learn that it is insulin that actually triggers the body to store fat, and that the amount of sugar in the blood stream is the biggest regulator of insulin release. Proteins stimulate a mild insulin release, while fats don’t stimulate insulin at all. Knowing that sugar is the biggest influences on insulin release its hard to say a calorie is just a calorie when it comes to mechanisms in the body and weight loss.

 

Sugar Consumption

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It’s estimated that the average American of today consumes more sugar in a two week period than an American from the early 1800’s consumed in an entire year. Sugar used to be somewhat hard to find and that is why the body experiences it as such a delight, but now there is such an abundance our physiology can’t adapt/keep up with our consumption. Just as its not as simple as a calorie is just a calorie, when we look closer at sugars them self there is also a difference in the way our physiology responds to them.

Fructose vs. Glucose

As stated earlier our bodies don’t process all sugars the same. When it comes to simple processed sugars, for the most part, they are disaccharides meaning there are two sugar molecules making up the compound. These sugars are comprised primarily of fructose and glucose. Unlike glucose, fructose is processed by the liver similarly to alcohol before it hits the blood stream. This results in an immediate increase in lipid synthesis in the liver. Since being approved by the FDA it has come to account for 40% of the sweetener used in the US.

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Another contributing factor is lack of physical activity. Work takes up a lot of the day and a lot of us have to be there fairly early. We don’t want to have to wake up early to get a work out in and by the time we get off work we are ready to go home and relax.  Also while we are on the subject of work, most of us work from 9-5. This also happens to be the window that ultraviolet B radiation gets through the atmosphere and we are able to produce vitamin D. Nearly half of Americans are considered deficient in this very important hormone. The last factor that we are going to touch on here is MSG consumption. MSG consumption is associated to increased calorie intake and there is evidence that it interferes with leptin, the hormone responsible for fat metabolism.

How to Prevent obesity and What to do if you are Already Overweight

Nutrition for fat loss

As we touched on earlier in how we got here, nutrition is a big factor. For instance “vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids influence lipid metabolism by different mechanisms” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7124561), so deficiencies in these nutrients can slow down fat metabolism. Multiple flavoniods influence fat metabolism. Flavonoids are found in fruits vegetables and nuts. One of the highest sources of flavonoids is cacao and it also contains vitamin c and folate. mBreakfast has many ingredients, but one of the most abundant is cacao. Camu camu is another good item to add to one’s arsenal as it is highest natural source of vitamin c and contains a good amount of folate. In keeping with the cleanest ingredients we don’t put anything into our mDefense except for camu camu.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also influences the mobilization of lipids in fat cells so they can be used for energy production. Getting vitamin D from the sun is the best and most cost effective way, but its hard to get out in that 9 am to 5 pm window consistently. If one is already overweight this will effect the bodies ability to produce and absorb its own vitamin D. In either case a vitamin d supplement, like mVitaD3, is the perfect way to make sure you are have an adequate level of this hormone.

Exercise

Many of us don’t get as much physical activity as we should, me included and it doesn’t help that T.V. and the internet can become a major time sink. Even if it is something as simple as going on a brisk walk, if you are doing the bare minimum when it comes to physical activity this needs to be implemented. The best scientifically proven way to lose fat through exercise is what is referred to as high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is where one puts forth max effort in an activity for a short interval. For example, sprinting all out for 30 seconds to a minute and then resting for a minute to a minute and a half and then doing it again for 4 to 5 reps. There are great workouts online, just google “HIIT” for ideas.

Stress and Inflammation

Leptin is the hormone that is responsible for fat metabolism. Leptin and inflammation both interfere with leptin sensitivity. Because of  this the brain has trouble getting the signal from leptin. There are many foods and herbs that reduce stress hormones and lower inflammation. Anything that is referred to as an adaptogen generally will lower stress hormones, and an FYI mBreakfast is loaded with adaptogens. When it comes to inflammation many herbs act the same as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), i.e. Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc… Some of my favorite are things like turmeric and blue butterfly flower and thats why I take mTurmeric and Blue Butterfly.

As always, say YES to your health

Products Featured in this Blog

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