A new book by a well-known Houston doctor describes obesity, specifically adolescent and childhood obesity, as “a worldwide epidemic” that affects nearly one third of the earth’s population.
“The Scale Does Not Lie, People Do” puts into perspective the economic impact of obesity, which every year claims the lives of millions globally and has doubled in 70 countries since 1980.
The book’s author is none other than TV star, obesity expert and bariatric surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, known endearingly to his patients as “Dr. Now” on the TLC show “My 600-lb Life.”
The book is a segue into a new project Nowzaradan is working on: a TV show that will shed light on the effects childhood obesity. Nowzaradan and his team will produce it, but the show will feature other Houston doctors.
“Obesity is proven to shorten the life span about 20 years,” Nowzaradan said in an exclusive interview with Chron.com. “For the first time, Americans’ lives will be shortened by five to 10 years by the next generation.”
Obesity, a chronic and relapsing metabolic disease, is caused by several factors, but can mostly be attributed to a genetic predisposition, combined with epigenetics, which is affected by the environment, Nowzaradan said.
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“Obesity is not a choice for people,” he said. “It’s not something that most people can walk their weight off with diet and exercise.”
The disease controls your calorie expenditure and intake, and even with surgery, which impacts the gastrointestinal hormones inside the stomach, the predisposition that causes obesity won’t correct itself, Nowzaradan said.
That’s why the success rate for those who are extremely obese, like the patients on his show, is about 5 percent, he said.
In short, losing weight is not easy, especially when you have multiple factors against you, he said.
Click through the slideshow above to get Nowzaradan’s 22 tips to losing weight — and keeping it off.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said, adding that people cannot solely blame their unsuccessful weight loss attempts on the environment or medications, which have been proven to alter the micro bacteria inside our intestines.
“It’s our own responsibility to understand what the problems are and what the solutions are,” he said.
Many people fail in their weight loss journey because they are not truthful with themselves, often eating more calories than they should be, he said.
Nowzaradan recommends understanding healthy eating habits and avoiding popular fad diets that are just a “temporary solution for a permanent problem.”
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