Diet and exercise may not be enough to treat obesity
Research by a team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York concludes that focusing on diet and exersise may not be enough to help obese people lose weight. In a report published in the Lancet of Diabetes & Endocrinology, the researchers said doctors need to give more consideration to the biological mechanisms of each patient that may make losing weight difficult for them.
The researchers say that the body tends to boost appetite if a person begins to eat less. This is an adaptation that helped humans survive when food resources were limited. But the researchers noted that even if a person is overweight or obese and just trying to lose excess weight, the body can still think it’s being starved. This causes the biological mechanism to kick in, causing the patient to eat more.
The report suggests a biological approach to treatment would include prescribing weight loss drugs or surgery to treat the disease, as well as positive changes in the patient's overall lifestyle. The researchers said this approach would treat obesity from different angles.
That's not to say, however, that diet and exercise should be emphasized less. The researchers acknowledged that even if it doesn't always result in weight loss, diet and exercise do make a person healthier.