For years we have heard that America’s obesity is higher than any other country on planet Earth. It is estimated that two-thirds of the United States is either obese or overweight. This has lead researchers to study the reasons and results of this epidemic. Studies have focused on causes (trauma, genetics, self-esteem, stress, availability, coping, etc.) and effects (health, depression, relationships, etc.). A recent study has found that this epidemic is having a major impact on our nation’s economics.
The study completed in 2017 finds that one “healthy” but obese individual can impact society by tens of thousands of dollars. Traditionally, obesity has been viewed as an individual burden. This study finds that being overweight actually has a far reaching effect on society. An obese 50-year-old, with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, will cost society more than $36,000. That figure includes direct medical care for obesity-related diseases, insurance costs, and lost work and time off, not only for the individual but their friends and family as well.
“When folks struggle with their weight, it ends up affecting everyone,” said senior researcher, Dr. Bruce Lee. Dr. Lee is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. The study points to factors such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and the 13 Cancers linked to obesity for the rise in insurance premiums. The more obese individuals who need additional care, the more the insurance companies have to charge its members to compensate and offset the costs.
If a 50-year-old obese individual can cost society more than $36,000 – imagine what an obese 20-year-old can cost! The study did look at this and found that there were ways to lessen the costs. If a 20-year-old could lose enough weight to drop to a category of “overweight” and maintain that level, he/she could cut the total cost of their lifetime by almost two-thirds. The good news is, even for a 70-year-old who drops to “overweight”, the savings are about 40 percent of the cost for staying obese. “So weight loss is cost-saving at any age,” Dr. Lee said.
Ted Kyle, a spokesperson for the Obesity Society and founder of ConscienHealth, which advocates for “evidence-based approaches” to addressing obesity, has shared his thoughts, “This study really documents the costs of untreated obesity — which is the norm in this country”. He said that Americans who are struggling with their weight usually just get “casual advice” from their doctors to eat better and exercise.
As an example, he pointed to the Diabetes Prevention Program, which involves “intensive” counseling on diet, exercise and behavior modification; however, a large U.S. government study found that the program slashed the risk of type 2 diabetes among overweight, at-risk adults — after only a modest amount of weight loss. Kyle stance is that people “do not get the kind of help that research has shown to be effective.”
Dr. Lee, when asked about the challenge of losing weight also stated, “…the biggest challenge is, of course, that you want permanent weight loss, not yo-yo dieting”. He went on to add, “There are no overnight solutions…It takes long-term changes in diet and physical activity. And for some people, medication or surgery are appropriate.”
Further study may be needed to determine which approach to weight loss is most cost effective (medication, surgery, diet & exercise, etc.), but what is clear is that the sooner you start your weight loss the more you and society save. For more information about weight loss, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City.
Childhood obesity has been a topic for some years now in the United States. Doctors and researchers have spent hours collecting and reviewing data on the effects of obesity in children. Despite efforts to get kids more active and to make healthier dietary choices, childhood obesity is on the rise. Also on the rise is cancer in young adults.
Some types of cancers, generally seen in people over 50, are now being found more often in younger adults. Of the 20 most common cancers in the United States, a recent study found that nine are occurring in young adults. Experts generally agree that 13 cancers have clear ties to obesity. The nine that are increasing in younger people are actually 9 of the 13 linked to obesity. The nine cancers, and the percentage of new cases in people from 20 to 44, include:
Thyroid cancer — 23.9 percent,
Meningioma (cancer in the lining of the brain and spinal cord) — 16.8 percent,
Ovarian cancer — 10.6 percent,
Breast cancer — 10.5 percent,
Kidney cancer — 7.8 percent,
Endometrial cancer — 7.3 percent,
Gastric cardia (cancer at the top of the stomach) — 6.2 percent,
Colon and rectal cancer — 5.8 percent,
Liver cancer — 2.5 percent.
This new study does not prove that childhood obesity causes cancer; however. the findings do emphasize the critical need for obesity prevention, especially when we are seeing a rise in both childhood obesity and obesity related cancers in younger adults (over 140,000/year). This is a big deal, according to the author of the study, Dr. Nathan Berger, director of the Case Western Reserve University Center for Science, Health and Society, in Cleveland, OH, “Scientists have known for some time that obesity increases cancer risk, and when obese people get cancer, they’re more likely to have a worse prognosis. And now it appears that obesity accelerates the development of cancer.”
It is not clear exactly how obesity might increase cancer risk. Researchers agree that there is much more collecting of data and analysis that must be done. Most also agree that obesity is a significant factor. Boston oncologist Dr. Jennifer Ligibel said this study is a “really interesting first look at the incidence of obesity and cancer risk in young adults, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.” She went on to note, “Obesity causes higher levels of inflammation. It also causes higher levels of insulin and other growth hormones. Obesity leads to higher levels of sex hormones. Also, there are related factors, including diet. There’s a lot we need to learn,”.
The study looked at 100 publications worldwide, with data reaching back more than four decades. As a result of this study, researchers and professionals agree further study is needed to determine the effects of weight loss, in childhood or adulthood, on cancer cases. Berger related this aspect of further research to that of smoking and cancer risk. When people quit smoking, their risk of cancer drops dramatically, but never completely disappears. He pointed out in his review that even though the risk might not go away completely, it’s still important to try to lose weight. He said, “Cutting down obesity impacts cancer risk, as well as the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight helps,”. Ligibel agreed, citing studies that showed the risk of cancer was cut by half for people who’ve had weight-loss surgery.
The Bariatric Center of Kansas City is constantly following stories, studies, reviews and reports on the effects of obesity and weight loss. We are available to answer your questions and concerns as well.
Ever feel like your own worst enemy? We certainly can be when it comes to working a successful weight loss program, whether related to having had gastric bypass or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, or for anyone simply trying to lose a few pounds or maintain their weight. Weight loss is a complicated matter with so many factors playing into our potential success. Consider the following ways we work against ourselves and our goals at times . . .
We tend to overestimate how many calories we burn. We also underestimate the number of calories we take in!
We don’t get enough sleep – this turns on the stress hormone, cortisol, which causes your body to produce more insulin and make you hungry and start craving.
We have too much stress in our lives, or don’t deal with it in a healthy way – eating is a common way to deal with stress. We all need to find ways to deal with that stress in other ways such as going for a walk, meditation, playing music, calling and talking to a friend, etc.
When we are in a hurry, we skip meals and eat inconsistently – when your body doesn’t know when to expect its next meal, it goes into a fat-storing mode and lowers your metabolism to hang on to fat.
We drink too many calories – alcohol has a lot of calories in it, so having even a small glass a wine every day can cause you to take in more calories than you realize. Sweetened drinks are not your friend!
We are lax about diet and exercise – will walk 3 miles and burn off 300 calories, and then celebrate by eating a 300 calories muffin. You need a 500 calorie a day deficit 7 days a week to lose 1 pounds of fat. (1 lb. of fat contains 3500 to 4000 calories.)
Slipping on weekends – we tend to take in more alcohol, more carbs, more food on the weekends if we get together with others socially or go out to dinner more.
We all want to see instant results, but weight loss is not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.
We sometimes have a medical condition that prevents weight loss. There are medications that can promote weight gain, such as antidepressants. It is important to have those medications re-evaluated periodically.
As the stomach heals, we can eat more in a shorter period of time. Portion control becomes very important. Many also begin to drink with meals. Drinking with meals defeats the surgery.
We are impatient – we want to see that weight loss continue daily. When weight loss stalls, it is often just your body needing to adjust to the weight loss. Keep to the guidelines and it will start in again
As weight is lost, your body adapts to the new, lower weight as it begins operating much more efficiently. It requires more effort to lose the weight. This is when we have to work a little harder to stay on track!
Knowledge is power, so let’s take advantage of this information and strengthen ourselves further for weight loss success . . .
In working with our gastric bypass patients, The Bariatric Center of Kansas City has learned a few things about the weight loss journey. We know that obesity is not just a struggle with food. Those who struggle with obesity also struggle with physical activity. Exercise is difficult because most people today lead very sedentary lifestyles. Lack of exercise and movement counts as a major risk factor for chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Modern family life is often sedentary
A 2010 study found that, compared to women who spent fewer than three hours a day sitting, those who sat six hours or more were 34 percent more likely to die at a younger age. So, exercise is vital to your post gastric bypass or gastric sleeve journey! Movement, becoming more active, is now understood to have the most impact on your health and length of life. The benefits of increasing your movement are plentiful . . .
Muscles increase in size, gaining strength and endurance.
Body weight is easier to maintain. Because muscle uses lots of fuel, the rate at which you burn calories increases.
Bones thicken under the influence of weight-bearing and resistance exercises (working against weights, bands, or your own body weight), which reduces the risk of osteoporosis. To stimulate bone, do weight-bearing and resistance exercises.
Joints become more flexible when moved through their full range of motion. Strengthening the muscles around joints protects them and eases arthritis symptoms.
The health of heart, lungs, and blood vessels improves with aerobic exercise—the type that uses big muscles and increases your pulse and respiratory rate to the point you can talk but not sing.
The nervous system functions more optimally. Mood, attention, learning, and memory improve.
Exercise relieves stress and anxiety and aids recovery from depression.
Moderate daily exercise improves nighttime sleep and reduces fatigue, even in energy-zapping conditions such as cancer.
Exercise increases tissue sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that ushers blood sugar inside cells. For that reason, the risk of type 2 diabetes declines.
Exercise also increases growth hormone, which stimulates growth, cellular reproduction and regeneration, and maintenance of muscle and bone.
The digestive system works better. Irritable bowel syndrome improves.
Exercise has benefits for your sex life. Working out makes you feel better about yourself, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in sexual arousal, and protects arterial health, thereby reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction. A study in women found that a bout of exercise counteracted the libido-dampening effect of antidepressants.
Exercise reduces the risk of some cancers.
Introducing movement into your daily routine is one of the most important changes to embrace after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. Exercise is vital to your body’s recovery, inside and out. A little movement increases your energy and leads to more movement. It is possible to leave behind your sedentary life in exchange for a life full of dancing, hiking, cycling, skating, and sledding with friends. Even better, exercise improves your health, protects against stroke and cardiovascular diseases (high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.), lowers LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol and elevates HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, and boosts the immune system – all of which means you can do what you love with your friends and family for many more years to come.
Making good choices about food is important for everyone, not just those that have undergone gastric bypass. Our population is obsessed with dieting with thousands of books, websites, products and programs dedicated to healthy eating, portion control, food limiting, and making better food choices. The Bariatric Center of Kansas City has been working with gastric bypass patients for years on post-bypass eating. All too often we find that addressing why we eat is just as important as what we eat.
Why we eat can be broken down into four basic reasons: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired (HALT). Although many people eat because they are hungry, there are a number of people who eat because of emotional triggers. They eat as a coping mechanism; a reaction to a feeling where food is used to feel better or secure.
Since infancy, tears and anger are rewarded with food, clean diapers or cuddles. Our body and mind have spent years being conditioned to associate food with need and pleasure. Individuals who have had or are about to have a gastric bypass are aware that their food-viewpoint will have to change. They will have to evaluate not just why they eat, but also when they eat to determine if food is consumed for need (hunger) or pleasure (coping mechanism). Some eat to feel good or to prolong a pleasurable feeling. Others eat because they are stressed or bored. Most commonly, emotional eaters do so without even realizing they have a dangerous habit. These individuals eat because food is available, a distraction from whatever is causing discomfort and often the food selected is impulsive or unhealthy.
Perhaps you think that movies and popcorn just go together or dinner out with friends every other night is being social, and you may be right; however, this is not true for an emotional eater. Upon investigating the root cause of your “normal” eating you may find that you watch a movie because you are bored or you go out with friends because you are uncomfortable being alone at home. Some eating events may seem like a “normal” function of life, but may in fact be hiding an emotional eating habit.
Being aware of why/when you eat is key to changing your emotional eating habits. Remember to allow time for a deep investigation into your eating motivations and permission to be realistic in your process of creating change. Once you have uncovered some of your strongest emotional eating habits it may be time to consciously decide to learn to “BE” more aware.
Step One: SIT with your feelings
Take a breath
Step Two: Recognize your negative self-talk
Name the critical voice
Be curious/not critical
Is it true?
Distance yourself from the thought
State how you wish to feel
Implement positive self-talk
If you hear a voice within you say, you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh
5 activities that will keep you otherwise busy & distracted
No matter where you are in your relationship with food and weight, pre or post gastric bypass, dieting or contemplating implementing a few healthier choices, understanding why you eat is essential to reaching your goals. The Bariatric Center of Kansas City encourages all our patients to seek counseling to tackle the tougher issues and establish a support group from your friends and family that can be there to help you throughout your journey. You can HALT emotional eating!
Coker, Michelle, Ph.D.. 2018. HALT Emotional Eating, PowerPoint Presentation,
Albers, Susan. 2015. 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Alexander, Cynthia. 2009. The Emotional First Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Life After Bariatric Surgery. Westchester, PA: Matrix Medical Communications.
For many people, healthy eating is a chore. This is especially true for those who have gone through bariatric surgery and are adjusting to new eating habits. After surgery, monitoring what and how much you put in your body becomes critical to maintaining your weight loss goals. Making healthy eating choices doesn’t have to be a chore if you start with understanding food labels.
Let’s start with dispelling a few myths about food labels, like eating organic salad and U.S. free-range natural fresh meats will ensure your food is fresh and nutrient rich. The first step in adopting healthy eating habits is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and consume meats low in fat and high in protein; however, not all food is created equal and not all labels mean what you think they mean. Some labeling and terms can be misleading, which could lead you to think you’re making a healthy eating choice, when you are not. For instance, before you assume “fresh” means it was never frozen and or was picked recently, you should be aware that the label “fresh” only means it was not cooled to a temperature below 26 degrees or still falls withing “shelf-life” limits.
Food Labels and Healthy Eating
Perhaps understanding the definitions of some of the most common labels can help you in making healthy eating choices:
“Certified Organic” – These are grown without hormones, antibiotics, fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or sewage sludge and cannot be genetically engineered, cloned or irradiated. There is no U.S. Government standard for Seafood. It can’t be “organic”.
Country of Origin – Required on all chicken, seafood, produce, and some ruts. (U.S. does not required on pork and beef, since 2015)
USDA Inspected – Means the food meets certain quality standards and has been inspected by USDA employees, but the grade is based in quality and size – not production methods. This label tells you nothing about the company’s practices.
Irradiation “Radura” Symbol – Grocery store foods that has been treated with radiation to reduce spoilage and eliminate some bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella, etc. must be labeled and marked with a Radura symbol. Although the radiation doesn’t stay in food, there are currently no studies done to determine the effects radiation has on nutritional values and the foods nutrients.
rBGH-Free or rBST-Free – Indicates no synthetic hormones were administered. Although hormones are allowed for feed and dairy cattle, Federal law prohibits the use of hormones on hogs and poultry.
Sugar Free – Usually means a synthetic sugar or High fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is hidden in the food. Check the label for ingredients that end in “..ose” or anything with “malt” such as barley malt, syrups, etc.
Fresh – Indicates the meat was not cooled below 26 degrees F but the U.S. only regulates this in poultry and not other meats or produce.
Cage Free – This means that the were birds raised without cages and had enough room to spread their wings but may still come from crowded factory farms.
Pasture-Raised – Means the animal spent at least some time outdoors on a pasture, feeding on grass or forage there but is no standard on how much time is required to earn this label..
Grass-Fed – Indicates that an animal’s primary food, after weaning, was grass or forage and not grains such as corn. There are no requirements regarding the disclosure of using antibiotics or hormones or on the animal’s living conditions.
Free Range – Only applies to poultry and is not regulated forpigs, cattle or egg-producing chickens. The standards for this label are very low and do not apply to living conditions or the use of antibiotics or hormones.
Natural or Naturally Raised – Means that the meat cannot contain artificial color, flavors, preservatives or other artificial ingredients. Doesn’t address how the animal was raised or if antibiotics or hormones were used.
“Multi-Grain” and “Whole-Wheat”– If it has more than 1 type of grain, they can say “multi-grain” even though it may be mostly white flour. It can say “whole wheat” even if it doesn’t mean 100% whole wheat. Best to look for the seal from the Whole Grains Council that lets you know there are 16 grams of whole grains per serving.
Healthy Eating and Serving Size
In addition to understanding labels, you will need to be conscious of your portions. Portion control guidelines, to maintain your weight and continue in your healthy eating habits, may not be the same as what is suggested on your food’s label. You want to look at how many servings there are in a container. Most drinks are actually 2 portions, so when reading the label you would have to double the information, which would double your carbs, sugars, proteins, sodium, etc.
As a general healthy eating rule we suggest you use measuring cups and food scales and follow these formula’s for proper portions:
Keep Protein to Carbohydrate ratio at 1 to 1 – eat 1 gm of carbs per 1 gm of protein (IE…if you eat 20 grams of protein, you should not eat more than 20 grams of carbs.)
Fat consumed must stay low – consume LESS than 45 grams per day
Watch your total carbs! – carbs minus fiber = net carbs
When you are not at home you can use these guidelines for measuring portions:
3 ounces of cooked meat, fish or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards
½ cup is size of an ice cream scoop
1 cup is size of a tennis ball
1 ounce of cheese is size of a domino
It is absolutely acceptable to spend time in the grocery store comparing labels or online researching product labeling. Your on-going relationship with food depends on how well you understand and control what you consume. Healthy eating habits take time to develop and the more you learn about the food you consume the easier it is to make healthy choices.
The Bariatric Center of Kansas City feels it important to share recent news published by The FDA with our bariatric weight loss patients. On November 28, 2017 they published the following alert about Biotin:
“The FDA is alerting the public, health care providers, lab personnel, and lab test developers that biotin can significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results.” (Click here for FDA Post)
The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, related to biotin interference with lab tests. It has been found to alter tests for thyroid levels, heart failure, pregnancy, cancer and iron-deficiency anemia.
In a recent scientific study done at the University of Minnesota, researchers found that 40% of the lab tests were thrown off by additional supplementation of biotin. Another study done at Loyola University looked at 374 different lab tests and found 80 came with warnings stating the results would be altered by extra biotin in the blood.
Biotin is promoted as being beneficial for skin, hair and nail strength. But many supplements contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily allowance. There is no scientific evidence that extra biotin helps with hair loss, or weight loss, and our Journey Bariatric Vitamins contain 0.6 mg, which is twice the recommended amount a person needs per day. We do not recommend additional supplementation with biotin. While not toxic, biotin supplementation can be harmful in diagnosing conditions unless it is stopped at least 48 hours prior to lab tests.
Our weight loss patients need remember, Biotin is found in liver, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, seeds and some vegetables such as sweet potatoes. It is extremely rare to see a biotin deficiency. If you feel, in your weight loss journey, the need to supplement your biotin intake, please take no more than 2.5 mg/day, which is 4 times the amount in Journey vitamins.
Following bariatric weight loss surgery, almost everyone will experience some hair thinning starting about 3 – 4 months after surgery. It will last for 90 – 120 days and then hair will begin to regrow. If it does not, then lab work may show a nutritional deficiency. Hair is made of a type of a structural protein called keratin. The body needs protein, zinc, iron, vitamin D, silicon and selenium to make keratin. Journey Bariatric Vitamins contain the recommended amounts of all these nutrients. The best way to increase your body’s production of keratin is to add whey protein to your diet. Other helpful foods are red meat, poultry, blueberries, almonds, leafy greens, soybeans, and salmon.
It is important to report to your physician any supplements you are taking. When having lab work drawn, please inform the lab of any supplements you take. And please, stop any biotin supplements 48 hours prior to having lab work drawn.
The most common questions I get in the sleep program have to do with the effects of weight loss and weight loss surgery in sleep apnea.
I always respond with helping people understand Obstructive Sleep Apnea; what it is and why it occurs.
The definition for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is; “a cessation of breathing followed by a snore, then an oxygen desaturation.” That means – you stop breathing when you sleep. So, why do some stop breathing when they sleep?
All of us are born with tonsils, adenoids and soft tissue in the backs of our throats. For some, the tonsils can be enlarged or the soft tissue be excessive. Either way, this can cause a narrowing of the airway that causes shallow or labored breathing when sleeping. The tonsils and/or soft tissue falls back into the throat causing a blockage in your breathing. That blockage is then followed by a snore, gasp, cough or choking. This is your body’s way of restarting your breathing.
When your body has sleep disordered breathing, your oxygen will drop quickly and your heart rate slows down each time this happens. Over time, this can cause harm to your internal organs including your heart and lungs. This can cause hypertension and heart disease. This can also cause a stroke. Because of the obstruction in your throat, you are depriving your body and brain of oxygen. Medically, untreated sleep apnea can cause death.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea also causes excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness and memory loss. Our brains go through different stages of sleep throughout the night. Each stage of sleep has different depths. Some stages are lighter while others are much deeper. The purpose for these different stages is to obtain the best sleep needed for our overall health and well being. The deeper stages help our brains and muscles rest. But if we are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we are unable to reach the deeper stages of sleep until very late in the night or not at all because of the constant interruptions to our sleep cycle from the sleep disordered breathing. If we are unable to get enough of the deeper stages of sleep, we will suffer from falling asleep when we should be awake, lack of energy and forgetfulness.
While the causes for this excessive tissue is different for every individual, weight loss and weight loss surgery has the potential to resolve sleep apnea. However, not everyone’s sleep apnea is fixed with weight loss or weight loss surgery. After you reach your goal weight, or as close to it as you want to be, you can be retested to see if you still have a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In many cases the OSA is resolved, in others, the OSA may be dramatically reduced which may still require treatment with CPAP but at a significantly lower pressure. Weight loss and weight loss surgery, in general, will improve your quality and quantity of life and so will treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Written by: Erika Keech, RPSGT
Sleep Medicine Coordinator with The Bariatric Center of Kansas City
That’s usually one of the most common questions I get in the sleep program.
First let’s look at what Obstructive Sleep Apnea is. The definition for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is; “a cessation of breathing followed by a snore, then an oxygen desaturation.”
The simplest way to describe what that means is to say that you stop breathing when you sleep. All of us are born with tonsils, adenoids and soft tissue in the backs of our throats. For some, the tonsils can be enlarged or the soft tissue be excessive. Either way, this can cause a narrowing of the airway that causes shallowed or labored breathing when sleeping. The tonsils and/or soft tissue falls back into the throat causing a blockage in your breathing. That blockage is then followed by a snore, gasp, cough or choking. This is your body’s way of restarting your breathing. When your body has sleep disordered breathing, it causes your oxygen to drop quickly and your heart rate to slow down each time this happens. Over time, this can cause harm to your internal organs including your heart and lungs. It can cause hypertension and heart disease. This can also cause a stroke. Because of the obstruction in your throat, you are depriving your body and brain of oxygen. Medically, untreated sleep apnea can cause death.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea also causes excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness and memory loss. Our brains go through different stages of sleep throughout the night. Each stage of sleep has different depths. Some stages are lighter while others are much deeper. The purpose for these different stages is to obtain the best sleep needed for our overall health and well being. The deeper stages help are brains and muscles rest. But if we are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we are unable to reach the deeper stages of sleep until very late in the night or not at all because of the constant interruptions to our sleep cycle from the sleep disordered breathing. If we are unable to get enough of the deeper stages of sleep, we will suffer from falling asleep when we should be awake, lack of energy and forgetfulness.
While the causes for this excessive tissue is different for every individual, weight loss has the potential to resolve sleep apnea. However, not everyone’s sleep apnea is fixed with weight loss. We just don’t know until you are retested. After you reach your goal weight, or as close to it as you want to be, you can be retested to see if you still have a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In many cases the OSA is resolved, in others, the OSA may be dramatically reduced which may still require treatment with CPAP but at a significantly lower pressure. Weight loss in general will improve your quality and quantity of life and so will treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Written by: Erika Keech, RPSGT
Sleep Medicine Coordinator with The Bariatric Center of Kansas City
Christopher Still, DO, FACN, FACP, recently published an article in Bariatric Times that provided helpful insights into the world of sugar (“When in Doubt, Just say ‘NO’ to All Sugars”) -. Specifically, he cited a certain type of sugar, fructose (or fruit sugar), as being detrimental for all people, not just those actively seeking weight loss. But for folks on a weight loss journey, it can be especially harmful in working against their weight loss efforts! This is because studies are beginning to show that fructose can trigger brain changes that may lead to overeating.
Still’s article summarized findings from a study published by Yale University scientists in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Their findings state that when fructose beverages are consumed, the brain does not register the same feeling of being full as it does when simple glucose is consumed. The body uses glucose for energy. The brain imaging scans they conducted showed that consumption of sweetened beverages, actually suppressed brain activity associated with the sensation of hunger. The study has led researchers to consider that fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may be part of the root cause of the nation’s obesity epidemic.
Bariatric Center of Kansas City Program Coordinator, Chris Bovos, RN, CBN, shared additional key points about fructose from The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association , (JAOA) in support of the fact that cutting fructose will quickly improve metabolic function:
Fructose has been identified as a particularly damaging type of simple sugar. Compared to glucose, which metabolizes 20 percent in the liver and 80 percent throughout the rest of the body, fructose is 90 percent metabolized in the liver and converts to fat up to 18.9 times faster than glucose;
HFCS is found in 75% of packaged foods and drinks, mainly because it is cheaper and 20% sweeter than raw sugar. Fructose turns on the metabolic pathways that convert it to fat and store it in the body, adding weight. At the same time, the brain thinks the body is starving and becomes lethargic and less inclined to exercise;
“Fructose provides no nutritional value and isn’t metabolized in the brain. Your body converts it to fat, but doesn’t recognize that you’ve eaten, so the hunger doesn’t go away . . . many young patients tell me they’re always hungry, which makes sense because what they’re eating isn’t helping their bodies function.”;
“If we cut out the HFCS and make way for food that the body can properly metabolize the hunger and sugar cravings fade. At the same time, patients are getting healthier without dieting or counting calories,” Dr. Winters says. “This one change has the potential to prevent serious diseases and help restore health.” (Dr. Tyree Winters, DO is head of the Pediatric Health and Weight Management Program at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center).
Still’s conclusion and suggestion is that people try to cut down on ALL sugar because of the double benefit of helping to suppress one’s appetite AND reduce caloric intake. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to establish healthier eating habits while maintaining your current weight, sugar reduction overall will help contribute positively to achieving your goal! While consumption of diet and/or low-calorie beverages, or use of artificial sweeteners, may be considered an improvement, it is still not the best answer overall.
A better way to help curb intake of either type of sugar (fructose or glucose) is to quench our thirst with water. Still’s clinic compared patients who primarily drink water with patients that drink artificially sweetened/low-calorie beverages and found that those who drink water lose more weight. He recommends that people drink the recommended eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day before consuming any type of diet or low-calorie drinks. He suggests, “When it comes to sugar (of any type) and artificial sweeteners in your diet, just keep it simple and say “no” to as many as you can – regardless of the type of sugar”.
In the end, getting into a habit of regularly checking nutrition/ingredient labels when food shopping to assess sugar and specifically, fructose content, in the products you buy will open your eyes to how much it is used and guide you in steering clear of it as much as possible! For better health and weight loss, just say NO to sugar!
Jean-Marc Schwarz, PhD; Michael Clearfield, DO; Kathleen Mulligan, PhD (2017). Conversion of Sugar to Fat: Is Hepatic de Novo Lipogenesis Leading to Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Chronic Diseases? The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2017, Vol. 117, 520-527. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2017.102