Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

Obesity - Disease or Malnutrition?

In the most recent American Heart Association guidelines, we are told that obesity should be treated like a disease, and that there is a pill to take care of the disease - the pill is called a statin drug, given to lower cholesterol. This is big news in the mediaand in the articles e-mailed to practicing physicians.

To quote from the AHA website:

The guideline recommends statin therapy for the following groups:

The AHA provides an equation for physicians to guide their treatment of patients, using the following parameters to calculate 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke: race, gender, age, total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, use of blood pressure medication, diabetes status and smoking status. This equation divides people into high, medium and low risk categories.

Some of the criteria are no-brainers - smoking status, use of high blood pressure medication, diagnosis of diabetes. The high risk category is pretty easy to spot - but the middle risk category is not so easy. These are people who could be prescribed drugs for the rest of their lives, without necessarily benefiting from the treatment, and putting themselves at risk of developing mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic fatigue, muscle pains, even congestive heart failure and cognitive dysfunction - more popularly known as "brain fog".

About 610,000 Americans have a first stroke every year. Another 525,000 have a first heart attack. It is certainly worth looking at preventable factors which could help these people avoid disease and ill health. But why is the concentration so much on taking a pill whose purpose is to lower cholesterol, when it is not even the high cholesterol that puts us at risk in the first place?

What if we were to start thinking about obesity as malnutrition? The body is screaming out for nourishment, and takes in more and more "food" to satisfy its needs. But if the "food" consists of things like sodas (sugar), bread (flour i.e. sugar), snack foods (carbohydrate i.e. sugar), spaghetti (flour i.e. sugar) and chemicals (trans fats, salt and sugar with flavor enhancers like MSG, Aspartame®), then it is not at all surprising that we might require a large number of calories to accumulate sufficient nutrients to sustain our bodies and brains.

Obesity is not a disease. Obesity is our body's best effort to get sufficient nutrition to our cells. Nutrition may indeed require a pill for replenishment of nutrients, until we get to the point where good healthy food can sustain the requirements.

No statin drug ever provided nutrition to the body.

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