In the 20 years since Barbara Corkey, PhD, was appointed editor of the journal Obesity, adult obesity has increased dramatically. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that one-third of American adults age 20 and older are obese. Obesity continues to be a common, serious and costly disease.
In an editorial by ObesityCorkey discusses the many different theories as to why obesity continues to rise despite all efforts to control weight gain in this environment, including the increased availability and marketing of high-calorie, low-fat foods and beverages. high blood sugar, larger food portions, physical leisure activities are replaced by sedentary activities such as watching television and using electronic devices, insufficient sleep, and the use of drugs that increase weight.
According to Corkey, all of these purported explanations assume an environmental cause detrimental to the organism involved (humans). “However, if we use the principle of symbiosis and Darwin’s theory of evolution, perhaps we can understand the prevalence of obesity as an intermediate stage in the evolution of man reacting to his environment in order to to achieve long-term survival and ultimate longevity,” the correspondent said. author Corkey, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Boston University’s Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.
Humans have developed a method to feed billions of people on the planet, by developing processed foods with preservatives and other chemicals that can make foods last longer and can be made cheaply to increase caloric density. in small packages. Corkey points out that those who develop obesity store body fat in response to excess calories. “Therefore, the cause of obesity has as much to do with the human response to overeating as it does with the production of foods that are overfed,” she says.
Corkey notes that major developments in the area of obesity/diabetes include bariatric surgery as well as multiple agents (drugs) with different mechanisms of action to treat obesity and prevent weight regain. “New drug combinations are beginning to close the gap with bariatric surgery and appear to be very powerful new tools for treating obesity as a disease.”
Corkey believes that recognition of obesity as a disease and earlier diagnosis of diabetes and other consequences of obesity will support earlier and more effective treatment and prevention. “Importantly, recognition of the disease will help support insurance coverage for effective obesity treatments,” she adds.
Finally, Corkey examines culinary medicine as an emerging evidence-based field that brings together nutritional and culinary knowledge and skills to help patients stay healthy and prevent and treat diet-related illnesses by choosing high quality healthy food in conjunction with proper medical care. . “Culinary medicine has the advantage of being an intervention that can be implemented as early as possible in the development of obesity without negative side effects,” says Corkey.