Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. It is responsible for many major health concerns, including heart disease, type two diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer. Body mass index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s height and weight. A person is classified as obese if their BMI is over thirty. Overweight people generally have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 (overweight is the lesser classification of obesity, and is generally considered a predictive factor for obesity).
For those suffering with obesity or overweight, the struggle to lose excess body fat can be long and frustrating. Most obese and overweight people are wisely counseled to reduce caloric intake and increase physical exercise. Other treatments for obesity include anti-obesity drugs or surgery.
These measures—surgery and drugs—are drastic and dangerous methods of combating obesity. When such a seemingly simple treatment exists (restricting caloric intake and exercise), why do obese patients require such extreme options?
When done properly, weight loss is an extremely slow process that necessitates patience and the ability to sustain willpower over a long period of time. The emotional issues behind obesity and weight loss cannot be underestimated. Many people with excess weight have become accustomed to using food as method of dealing with depression, anxiety, or other psychological concerns. For some, eating is an addiction similar to smoking or other drugs, and just as difficult to overcome.
For obese patients, acupuncture is a safe and effective method of dealing with some of the physical and emotional symptoms that can devastate weight loss attempts.