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Causes of Obesity

Severe obesity is known as a multi-factorial disease in that there are many contributing factors for each individual.  These factors interact in a complex fashion that is poorly understood.  What is understood is that, when the disease of severe obesity is treated with an experienced bariatric surgeon and professional multidisciplinary team, the patient can achieve long-term weight loss and resolution of obesity-related conditions.

Genetic Factors

The genetics of severe obesity have been extensively studied and there is indisputable evidence that the severely obese patient is pre-programmed in their DNA to store excess fat.  It is almost as though, for the severely obese individual, the normal set point for their weight is to be severely obese.  This weight may be normal for that individual; however, it is clearly an unhealthy weight.  It is for this reason that the morbidly obese individuals are unable to maintain weight loss with diet and exercise alone.  If the severely obese is given the tool of bariatric surgery it allows them to combat their inherent genetic predisposition and obtain and maintain a healthy weight.

Environmental Factors

The disease of morbid obesity is an epidemic.  In today’s world with the fast paced hectic lifestyles that we live many people do not make time to cook healthy meals.  Time for family and work is a premium and little time is left to exercise.  Fast food restaurants can be found on every corner and while they can be inexpensive and convenient, the high fat, high calorie menu is extremely harmful to our health.

Metabolic Factor

As we age our metabolism slows.  If we eat the same amount of food we gain weight!  Additionally, if you diet and exercise and lose weight you would think that your metabolism would improve and you would burn more calories.  This is unfortunately untrue!  When we lose weight our metabolism slows as much as 25% making it harder to lose more weight.  This is inherently unfair but is also a biologic truth.  Severely obese patients need the tool of bariatric surgery in order to complete the job of obtaining significant weight loss and maintaining it!

Behavioral Factor

Food is good!  Unfortunately, we do not only eat because we are hungry.  Eating is a social event for us.  Sometimes we may also use food for other reasons.  We may use it to make us feel better after a hard day or as an accompaniment to enjoy our favorite show.  Occasionally this is fine, but when it becomes habitual it can lead to significant weight gain.  Habits are hard to break.  The expert, compassionate professionals at our New Life center can help kick those habits and help you get started on the road to your New Life!

Medical Factor

There are a number of medical causes of obesity as well.  These are treatable without surgery and need to be identified if present.  If you have not been evaluated for them call the New Life center for an appointment for a thorough evaluation.

Call Us:

(865) 694-9676


Physicians Plaza 1, Suite 305
Turkey Creek Medical Center
10810 Parkside Drive
Knoxville, TN 37934

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