Im Not Fat, Im Just Big Boned…

Stop lying to yourself. You’re overweight, so what? What does being overweight even mean?

 

Being overweight is more than just a physical aspect. There are many factors to consider when evaluating ones own body frame. As a matter of fact, you can have great blood pressure, great diet, and great exercise habits, but still be overweight. Yet Obesity is a constantly growing problem in the American society and there are a few reasons for this: genetics, development, and diet/exercise.

It is no coincidence that some families that are larger in physique, stay large. This is not necessarily a problem, as some people remain healthy despite being labeled obese. However, type 2 diabetes tends to also run in these families. This is not to say that type 2 diabetes is genetically carried, but rather is a result of being obese.

Perhaps if we looked closer at how obese individuals develop their weight, we would have a greater understanding of obesity, after all, it is not entirely based on unhealthy eating alone. There are certain chemicals in our body that signal for appetite, and those that suppress this signaling. These chemicals are known as Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH), Agouti-related Protein (AgRP), and Neuropeptide Y (NPY). MSH is release from POMC neurons within the brain, which will suppress an individuals appetite. AgRP however, suppresses MSH, which stops the suppression of appetite. This then allows NPY to stimulate appetite and make individuals feel hungry. Recent research has discovered that individuals that are obese, even after diet and exercise, have a lower baseline amount of MSH, which means their appetite is not suppressed very much.

Ofcourse individuals may always resort to diet and exercise in order to better themselves and try to lose weight. This especially plays a large role in the development of obesity in individuals today, due to the cutting of physical education courses in kindergarten-12th grade schools and college campuses. Also, the amount of sugar and preservatives that are put into food today is incredibly unhealthy. Sure, eating leafy greens does not sound too appealing, but I myself am a firm believer in moderate portioning, and there should be some sort of self control when it comes to sitting down for a meal.

 

Sure, each of these categories can influence obesity, but obesity is not wholeheartedly caused by just one of these aspects. We certainly can prevent obesity by diet and exercise, but it wont necessarily keep you from gaining weight. I do believe that with the recent development of realizing how obesity affects whole families, that these chemical imbalances caused by genetics can be taken care of by a pill. With how much attention the United States gives to body image, there is no doubt in my mind that our Obesity problem will soon be behind us.

 

Resources:

https://www.britannica.com/science/melanocyte-stimulating-hormone

http://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/agouti-related-peptide

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/neuropeptide-y