Psychiatrist Georgia Ede hits it out of the park with a terrific piece about obesity, its true root cause and our unfortunate habit of blaming the afflicted. She reminds us that just as umbrellas are associated with rain but do not cause the rain, obesity does not necessarily cause the many diseases that cluster with it. Hence, blaming an obese patient for his new diabetes diagnosis is just blaming the victim.
In her article, Ede points her finger at insulin resistance as a key villain behind our obesity epidemic and associated metabolic disfunction. She explains how insulin resistance works against people with obesity, even when patients are trying to eat less to control their weight. She goes even further:
The combination of irresponsible, unscientific dietary guidelines and ineffective, unsustainable weight loss advice has led many with obesity to feel demoralized and hopeless. All our lives, we’ve been told to fear eating ancient, nutrient-rich, satisfying whole foods like red meat and eggs, which are virtually carbohydrate-free, non-addictive, and naturally gentle on our insulin signaling system. Instead, public health authorities have advised all of us, regardless of our metabolic state, to consume flours, cereals, juices, and non-fat dairy products that spike blood sugar and/or insulin levels. Insulin spikes turn on fat storage, turn off fat burning, trigger release of stress hormones, and raise appetite, creating a vicious cycle of cravings and weight gain in susceptible individuals.
Dr. Ede encourages readers to be curious enough to take a second look at the not-so-plausible mainstream assumptions about overweight and obese patients. Plus, she includes a companion piece for doctors where she asserts that a better understanding of insulin resistance is critical for improved patient care.
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