A note from New Horizon Medical’s Medical Director, Dr. Nelofer Humayon:
Obesity is a chronic, progressive, relapsing, and treatable, multi-factorial, neurobehavioral disease, resulting in adverse metabolic, biomechanical, and psychosocial health consequences.”
Let’s analyze it a bit more closely:
– Chronic: A disease that lasts longer than a year and requires ongoing medical attention. Examples of other chronic diseases include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc
– Progressive and relapsing: Has the potential to get worse or weight regain can occur after weight loss
– Multifactorial: It’s not caused by just eating more and exercising less. There are many mechanisms involved. Stress, lack of sleep, fluctuation in levels of hunger hormones to name a few.
– Neurobehavioral: There are appetite centers in the brain, the signals sent to and from these centers can influence caloric consumption. Also, our behaviors determine our weight gain, ability to lose weight, and to what extent it can be maintained.
At New Horizon Medical, we take pride in initiating weight loss but you can imagine now that this is an ongoing process. The effective regulation of body weight can be challenging in an obesogenic environment. An important predictor of how well one can maintain the weight loss depends on making a commitment to behavior change. One may possess the genes to be obese but these genes will only be turned on if there is an external influence ie the environmental factors. The fact that this chronic disease can be prevented, cured, and reversed has lead me to a wonderful new specialty “Lifestyle Medicine”.
Lifestyle Medicine includes evidence-based approaches to prevent, treat and reverse chronic diseases including Obesity. It includes 6 pillars eg whole food plant-based diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, social connections, and avoidance of risky behaviors.
It is an honor for me to be a certified Lifestyle physician. As a Lifestyle medicine diplomate, I feel very confident that the principles this specialty offers can go a long way in managing obesity including weight loss maintenance. My goal as a lifestyle specialist is to create awareness and what could be a better way to do this than through social media. Since behavior change is an important component of Lifestyle, learning the techniques and mastering them is the secret to a successful transformation.
I wish you well and invite you to join me in this adventure!
-Dr. Nelofer Humayon, Medical Director