For your health column: Why its harder to lose weight now than before
May 22, 2012
Almost everyone has struggled with their weight or know someone who has. For some people, it seems like no matter how hard you exercise or what you eat, you cannot reach your goals or if you reach your goals, later on you end up putting on even more weight.
After working with several patients on weight loss and looking at research, there seems to be three major factors that make weight loss more difficult in current American society: the environment, misinformation and our food supply.
The environment we live in plays a huge factor. Americans are exposed to a variety of environmental toxins. Household items such as hairspray, deodorant, perfumes and cleaning products are examples. Our water supply contains pharmaceutical drugs, too much copper, and even arsenic. According to the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) 2008 toxic release inventory, an estimated 3.9 billon pounds of chemicals were disposed of in approximately 83,600 different chemical forms. Dr. Kristina Thayer, director of the Office of Health Assessment and Translation at the National Toxicology Program, noted in the April 2012 edition of ACA news that researchers have found that laboratory animals exposed to (environmentally and dietary) low doses of various pharmaceutical and industrial compounds develop altered metabolic processes. They suspect then that those same chemicals might predispose some people to weight gain.
Misinformation about proper diet and exercise is rampent, in my opinion. I was flipping through my wife’s Glamour magazine the other day and noticed that they had an article questioning whether being overweight was really a health issue. On top of this, new fad diets pop up all the time. And what about the well-known dieting program commercials that insinuate eating their pizzas, cakes, and hamburgers are healthy for you.
The biggest problem, in my opinion, is America’s food supply. According to the Center for Science in Public Interest website’s Chemical Cuisine Report, the USA allows more than 2,500 chemical additives to our food supply. Contrary to many of the commercials you may see, high fructose corn syrup is an inflammatory food and contributes to cross-linking of collagen fibers, leading to premature skin aging, according to the April 2004 issue of Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In one of my blog articles online at drseanmiller.wordpress.com titled “Do you know your AA/EPA ratio” I note the importance of having healthy ratios of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, which should be in the range of between 1-and-a-half-and-4-to-1, respectively. The typical American has a ratio of 15-to-1. When this ratio is off it can lead to many systemic issues due from the inflammatory effects of having an unbalanced ratio.
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In my office I typically do a simple finger prick test to evaluate the omega 6/omega 3 and AA/EPA ratios and use bio-impedance to asses body composition along with standard history and examination as a baseline. Once we have established a baseline, I typically implement a 21-day detox program to help the body reduce its load and exposure to dietary and environmental toxins and then get the patient on a sustainable diet that can be followed for life.
After the detox many patients exhibit a better sense of wellbeing, with decreased pain, improved sleep, increased energy and significant weight loss. Body composition and omega ratios are typically improved as well.
Sean Miller is a chiropractor based in Edwards. His practice focuses on muscle activation, diet and nutrition, using cold laser, chiropractic, soft tissue techniques, and exercise to restore proper function and health. For more information visit http://www.seanmillerhealth.com or email email@example.com.