FALSE! It turns out that what we’ve been generalizing as “obesity” is actually over-simplifying a disease with very real distinctions and sub-categories. While the risks and effects of obesity are the same, the approaches to reducing obesity are as individual as the people involved. Research shows that when it comes to curing obesity, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
A study published in the journal Obesity looked at 2,458 obese people who had weight-loss surgery between 2006 and 2009. The weight-loss surgeries were gastric bypass or banding, both of which create a small pouch at the top of the stomach to help patients feel full from less food. The difference between the two procedures is primarily in how the pouch is created—gastric bypass uses staples, while gastric banding uses a silicone ring. Both of these procedures are considered invasive, as compared to the noninvasive procedures offered by NEW You.
In their evaluation of the patients, researchers looked at various factors including psychology, dietary habits, hormone levels, biology, and weight history. The results revealed four distinct types of obesity, leading the researchers to conclude that surgery may not be an ideal treatment for all forms of obesity.
Sub-categories of Obesity
The study shows that in order to be more effective in treating obesity, it is important to understand the different groups. Below is a summary of each group and a treatment approach that takes into account its unique characteristics.
- Group 1: Diabetes
- Characteristics: Before surgery, this group showed low levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol), which helps to rid the body of fat stores. They also had high blood glucose, making it difficult to properly use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. In fact, blood sugar levels were so high that 98% of this group had some form of diabetes compared to a 30% average in the other three groups.
- Group 2: Disordered Eating
- Characteristics: This group struggled with unhealthy eating behaviors. 37% of the group had a binge-eating disorder. 60% reported a lack of control over food and cravings and snacked regularly between meals. 92% of this group ate even when they weren’t hungry.
- Group 3: Mixed
- Characteristics: This population of obese patients was the most surprising to researchers because it carried no distinguishing qualities from the other three groups, except for one—they had almost no disordered eating. Only 7% of the group reported having struggles with unhealthy eating. Despite this, the rest of their obesity profiles were similar to that of their counterparts. This seems to indicate a biological or genetic issue more so than anything else.
- Group 4: Early Onset
- Characteristics: The final group were diagnosed with obesity before the age of eighteen. This group’s average body mass index (BMI) was also the highest as adults. Normal BMI is 18.5 to 25, with a measure above 30 considered obese. The average BMI in this population ranged from 32 at age eighteen to 52 as adults—more than ten times higher than the average of the other groups.
Despite the differences in types of obesity, the good news is that help exists no matter which group you find yourself in. This study shows that obesity is a complex and complicated situation that requires a willingness to look at different approaches to solve the problem. NEW You Weight Loss has several procedures, complete with a team of support people, to help on your weight-loss journey. If you would like more information about our services and whether they’re right for you, request a consultation today!