"Weighing" In on Hormones
Everything we read these days warns us that Americans are overweight. According to statistics published by the National Institutes of Health, roughly 55 percent-more than half of the U.S. population-is overweight, or even obese. This problem is considered an epidemic; it is our number one disease.
In today's culture, which touts countless diet fads, diet books, and new exercise regimens, the issue of weight control is everywhere. In Dr. Scott Isaacs's book, Hormonal Balance, he points out that, in so many cases, the basis for dieting falls short because it often does not include hormones as a component of weight issues. Hormones indeed play a very ctitical role in weight control. In addition, our individual genetics, lifestyle, and exercise regimens factor into the battle to keep our metabolism going strong.
There is no doubt that our hormone production and metabolism slow down as we age. That is why it makes sense to consider how hormone levels may be affecting changes in your own weight and metabolism. A healthy and proper hormonal balance is helpful in getting a handle on weight gain, especially during phases of life when our hormone levels may fluctuate. As more research is carried out on the way in which specific hormones impact our metabolism, it becomes clear that the balance of hormones may be a key to gaining the upper hand in the battle of the bulge.
Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It
by Gary Taubes
Book review by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP
Recently, I was stopped in my tracks when I read a statement I found on the internet "Crash Test Dummies Don't Reflect Growing Obesity" and found the thought mildly alarming. Gary Taubes may have pondered a similar thought when he set out to write Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.
Gary Taubes is a science writer who embarked on a project to collect what real science can tell us about the growing problem of obesity. Part of the problem, he says, is that we have embraced a very simple dogma for decades. The dogma is that obesity is a matter of too much stored energy (calories). The dogma states that if you simply control the calories you take in or you increase your energy expenditure by exercise, you will lose the stored fat. The fundamental argument against that simplistic thinking is that it isn't working. We are faced with a growing epidemic of obesity worldwide.
Taubes' review of the literature shows ample documentation that when you increase your energy expenditures with increased exercise, you will also typically increase your appetite and food intake. He cites numerous animal and human studies demonstrating that increased exercise actually increased body fat. Read more