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Overweight and Obesity

What are overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

The ratio of height to weight.

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows:

Overweight: BMI ≥ 25
  Obesity: BMI ≥ 30
Western view and treatment

Causes of obesity and overweight

  • Lack of energy balance: take in more calories than you use.
  • An inactive life: spend too much time in front of TVs and computers, or rely on cars instead of walking
  • Genes and family history: Studies of identical twins who have been raised apart show that genes have a strong influence on a person's weight.

  • Excess Weight Raises Your Risk of Many Health Problems
  • Health conditions: Some hormone problems may cause overweight and obesity, such as hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Medicines: for example, some corticosteroids, antidepressants, and seizure medicines.
  • Emotional factors: Some people eat more than usual when they're bored, angry, or stressed. 
  • Lack of sleep: People who sleep fewer hours also seem to prefer eating foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates, which can lead to overeating, weight gain, and obesity.
  • Age: As you get older, you tend to lose muscle, especially if you're less active. Muscle loss can slow down the rate at which your body burns calories. Many women gain about 5 pounds during menopause and have more fat around the waist than they did before.

Weight loss treatments

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) View

As the TCM practitioners, we does not address excess weight alone but deals with the possible body condition that leads to being overweight. We believe that if there is internal balance, the body’s metabolism should function properly provided that there is balance between food consumption and physical activity.

In particular, we believes that fatty tissues are mainly caused by phlegm and dampness pathogens. The spleen is the main organ that corresponds to obesity because it produces phlegm and transports body fluids. Eating too many sweets and not getting adequate exercise damages the spleen, weakening its metabolic function. When wastes are not properly disposed from the body, they become dampness evils that eventually form into phlegm and become fat.

for Weight Loss

The approach to the treatment will depend on the individual’s body constitution. While there is no single remedy to promote weight loss for everyone, every therapeutic method follows certain guidelines. For instance, one TCM principle for weight loss is to restore harmony in the stomach to help it digest fatty substances. Blood flow must also be activated to lower the blood’s fat or lipid content.

Eliminating phlegm evils from the lungs is also important as well as removing any stagnation in the liver or gallbladder, which aids metabolism. Bowel movement and urine excretion must also be induced to eliminate excess dampness in the body that contributes to being overweight.

The most common modalities used to facilitate weight loss at our clinic are acupuncture and nutrition therapy. It is important to keep in mind, however, that weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is only possible with adequate exercise and proper diet. This point is held in both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The advantage of TCM is its holistic approach on the body, providing the answer to maintaining a healthy weight for good.