People are more excited to lose weight than ever, with rising numbers exercising, drinking more water and eating less. Sad part is, fewer Americans are achieving weight loss.
According to a new report, Americans are more overweight than ever despite all this effort.
Between 2015 and 2016, 42% of people tried to lose weight were successful compared to 34% between 1999 and 2000. Also, body mass index (BMI) and weight for the average American increased.
Few Americans are achieving weight loss
“Where weight-loss efforts are increasing, we can expect a decreasing trend of obesity, but it is not decreasing,” said senior researcher Dr. Lu Qi, director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center in New Orleans.
Each day there seems to be a new weight loss program or diet that claims to help you lose weight with little effort. Americans are steadily trying new ways to lose weight but few seem to ever achieve his or her goals. It may be a possibility that the weight loss strategies followed are not effective like they should be.
Eating less to lose weight
The most popular weight loss strategy is to eat less. Sure, eating less will help you lose weight but it also depends on what reduced calories you are consuming. For example, if you reduce your calorie intake but replace it with fattening foods, you will still gain weight making it pointless.
Our perspective of weight loss matters
Exercising and eating less will not work long-term because your body supervises how much fat is carries, and that is not in our control.
Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed. He noted that “detailed research clearly shows that eating less and exercising more are not effective for long-term weight loss.”
Since obesity is a disease and our body is programmed to regulate body fat, it is more to weight loss than just exercising and eating healthy.
A true cure for obesity is going to require medications or therapies that help readjust the body’s self-regulation of fat, Kaplan said.
A better approach for weight loss
Traditional methods of weight loss include diet and exercise, but fewer Americans are actually losing weight and maintaining. Our next step may be to try more medical and biological approaches to help Americans lose weight.
SOURCES: Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center; Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., director, Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Mitchell Roslin, M.D., chief, obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City;JAMA Network Open, Nov. 13, 2019