Health Watch — The Obesity Epidemic: Causing the Epidemic

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the American obesity epidemic and health problems related to it. Along with the obesity epidemic, there’s been an upswing in insulin-resistant diabetes, and the two go hand-in-hand.

Dr. Roger Unger, an expert on diabetes at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says the increase in this kind of diabetes began after World War II, when Americans began eating more calorie-dense, processed foods at the same time new technology such as television and computers meant people were leading more sedentary lives. The human body wasn’t designed for that kind of lifestyle, so it copes poorly. The body can’t process the large amounts of sugar, and the more body fat there is, the more difficult it is to process sugar. The result is obesity and often a resistance to insulin that’s made even worse by obesity.

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Next: New findings about treating diabetes


March 2008

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