The U.S. adult obesity rate (BMI greater than 30) and severe obesity (BMI greater than 40) now tops 40% and up to 50% depending on race and socioeconomic status. This give the U.S. the dubious distinction of being the most overweight country in the world. What is more concerning is the obesity rate in children. For children aged 2 to 19 years the prevelance of obesity (depending, again,on race and socioeconomic status) was 18.5% affecting about 13. 7 million children and adolescents. Obesity related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was 147 billion in 2008. there are an overwhelming number of proposed interventions for weight loss including drugs, supplements, diets and exercise programs, etc., all, for the most part, having some benefit assuming compliance/persistence (lack of both is the usual reason for failure). One of the primary reasons for lack of compliance is appetite. there are 2 hormones involved in appetite control, gherlin and leptin. Leptin being the more important in terms of appetite and weight gain. Leptin is a hormone that is made by fat cells and cells in the small intestine. It communicates weith the brain to help regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger which, in turn lowers fat storage in the fat cells. There is something called leptin resistance (brain does not respond to leptin) and may be a leading driver of fat gain in the body. (I check leptin levels on all my patients). Ifronically, the more fat you have ghe more leptin you make in an attempt to shut down hunger and fat deposition. This should work, however, too much leptin overwhelms the brain (hypothalamus) whereby the brain thinks you are starving and enmcourages eating more with subsequent fat storage and a decrease in energy ependiture. In addition to the myriad of weight loss interventions, I use both CBD and PEA to address appetite. Both of these (PEA is a natural endocannabinoid found int he body) downplay gherlin and balance leptin, aside from the multitude of other benefits including addressing stress related eating.
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