Everyone is aware of the obesity epidemic that has been captivating the United States. I think many will agree that we are now in an age where there are more weight loss resources than ever before. There is a fitness facility in every town, every other commercial is for a supplement or weight loss drug, and there are more "weight loss coaches" for hire than ever before.

How can all of these resources in effect still allow the obese to regress?

The National Institute for Health Research has surveyed almost 300,00 obese individuals from 2004-2014, excluding those who had bariatric surgery. There were numerous trends and statistics noted in this Science Daily article.

Here are some of the most notable:

"The annual chance of obese patients achieving five per cent weight loss was 1 in 12 for men and 1 in 10 for women. For those people who achieved five per cent weight loss, 53 per cent regained this weight within two years and 78 percent had regained the weight within five years."

"Overall, only 1,283 men and 2,245 women with a BMI of 30-35 reached their normal body weight, equivalent to an annual probability of 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women; for those with a BMI above 40, the odds increased to 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women with severe obesity."

The main treatment options are: exercise and diet, weight loss drugs, and surgery. The problem is that these are just bandaids on a much larger wound. Something very prevalent in the obese population is weight cycling.

"Weight cycling, with both increases and decreases in body weight, was also observed in more than a third of patients. The study concludes that current obesity treatments are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients."

Its evident that changes made for the obese are not reflected in their lifestyle. Surgery can be undone through eating enough. It has always been clear that diet and exercise are effective when done properly and consistently over the course of months and years. Weight loss drugs may be the worst of the three, they create an image in the mind of the participant that the drug will cover up and faults in lifestyle.

So, who is at fault for this epidemic? The obese? It is an easy way out to blame them, and I do agree they tend to lack motivation, but how can we? They literally have different physiological cascades and hormonal feedback. Im sure if they had the ability to loose the weight effectively they would. I was obese as a teenager and it took me almost three years to loose about 80 pounds. It is an incredibly difficult process with frustration and relapse throughout the process. Do we blame the professionals? Shouldn't they be the ones facilitating the changes? Of course they can prescribe protocols that should be effective, but compliance and results cannot be forced. It is an incredibly difficult cyclic process where the blame does not necessarily fall on anyone but there are still those suffering. I am by no means the person to come up with a solution, however I do think the matter should be looked at through a more objective lens. We must continue to spread knowledge and positivity on the subject if we hope to have a fighting chance.

Read the full article to see the rest of the statistics and comments by the researchers.

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