Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cells 'Remembered' Being Fat Even After Weight Loss, Study Shows

Now I think I've heard it all about why overweight and obese Americans can't seem to lose weight. It's their muscle's fault!

This Newsday article points to a new study that found the muscles of obese people have been altered genetically to essentially gather fat even after weight loss.

Dr. Deborah Muoio, assistant professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University, is the senior author of this study which appears in the latest issue of the medical journal Cell Metabolism. She and her fellow researchers discovered that the SCD1 fat-building enzyme had triple the presence in the muscles of an obese person compared with individuals who are thinner. Interestingly, Muoio said this condition remained unchanged even when the cells were taken away from the body.

"The cells of obese people remembered their metabolic program, which could help explain, in part, why losing weight and maintaining weight loss is so difficult," Dr. Muoio explained.

Their cells "remembered" being fat? Say what? I've heard of using personification in giving people a description of something, but that's just a little strange to read that your cells could "remember" that they need to be storing fat rather than burning it.

As someone who used to weigh 410 pounds before I started livin' la vida low-carb, I am sure my cells were well accustomed to their surroundings until something startling happened beginning in January 2004. Little by little, pound by pound, the fat started melting away. Not just a little, a whole lotta fat! Now, nearly two years later, I have lost over 180 pounds and my body fat percentage was recently shown to be a mere 11 percent. If my cells "remembered" being fat, then they must have amnesia! You won't find me complaining about my cells "forgetting" that I'm supposed to be fat because that's the way I've always been my entire life.

I'm sure my daily exercise has helped and Dr. Muoio admits that it can.

"The good news is it's possible to change your energy balance through exercise. Exercise can enhance muscle's ability to burn fat," she added.

This recent study found that your body only needs about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day to be healthy and fit and yet another recent study concludes that eating a low-carb, high-protein diet will help your body lose more fat while maintaining your muscle.

Dr. Muoio describes obesity in this story as "a very complex disease." Oh, brother, not that argument again!

I addressed this issue about obesity being a "disease" in this column I wrote in July 2004 at about the midway point of my weight loss. In my personal experience, obesity is the direct result of the poor eating and lifestyle choices of the person who has allowed themselves to get in that position.

When I think of a "disease," the first thing that pops into my mind is catching a cold. You don't just "catch" obesity. It doesn't come on you all of a sudden. No, it happens when you eat too much of the wrong kinds of foods and when you fail to give your body an adequate amount of exercise to help it stay fit and trim.

With all due respect to Dr. Muoio and her study, she is wrong to call obesity a "disease." That is trivializing a very real problem that needs to be taken seriously by those who are experiencing it. Providing the excuse that they are fat because they have a "disease" helps them rationalize it in their mind that they shouldn't even try to lose weight on their own since it's a "disease" that needs to be treated with medication and therapy. HOGWASH! People who need to lose weight should CHOOSE to do something about it once and for all.

The longer we stay stuck in the mentality that there is nothing that can be done to resolve the obesity problem, the fatter and fatter we will become until this prophecy comes to pass in the not-too-distant future. Don't let that happen. Take responsibility for yourself and get your weight under control. Might I suggest you try livin' la vida low-carb?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home