Judy Bowen-Jones

Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on your health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.

It is a common problem, estimated to affect around one in every four adults and one in every five children aged 10 to 11 in the UK. Obesity is usually caused by consuming more calories than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is then stored by the body as fat.

Obesity can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and breast or bowel cancer. Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems such as low self-esteem. Some health conditions, such as hypothyroidism can contribute to weight gain.

The best way to treat obesity is to eat a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and to exercise regularly. According to the NHS (2015), losing what seems like a small amount of weight (such as 3% or more of your original body weight), and maintaining this for life, can significantly reduce your risk of obesity-related complications like diabetes and heart disease.

We are all different and certain foods are better for some people than others. If you want to lose a lot of weight it is important to get professional nutritional and dietary advice from a nutritionist or dietician. Not only will this help you lose weight and keep the weight off, but it will help keep you healthy during the diet. Eat lots of vegetables while dieting to ensure that you get enough vitamins and minerals. It is important to have a balanced and varied diet. Any diet which appears extreme, severely limits the number of different foods you can eat or includes highly processed food is unlikely to be healthy.

Acupuncture for OBESITY

Research shows that acupuncture may specifically help weight loss and reduce obesity by:

  • Increasing levels of adiponectin, a protein which is involved in regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown
  • Regulating leptin levels which in turn regulate fat storage
  • Effecting physiological processes which decrease levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • Reducing blood lipids (fats)
  • Regulating obestatin, a hormone produced by the stomach which is believed to send feedback to the brain in appetite control

Treating Obesity

“Losing weight takes commitment. It is likely you will need to make significant changes to your diet and lifestyle. If you overweight, you may feel tired or depressed and find it difficult to start a weight loss programme. In my experience, acupuncture can help you find the mental strength, energy and impetus to get started, as well promoting healthy metabolism and digestion.

Many people turn to a low fat diet to help them lose weight. Unfortunately many ‘low fat’ foods on the supermarket shelves have higher levels of sugar. Good quality fats, in moderation, are important for good health and may help you lose weight, as fats stimulate feelings of fullness more quickly than sugars and carbohydrates. There is increasing opinion that it is the consumption of sugars rather than fats that is responsible for the obesity epidemic today.

If you regularly crave sweet foods, it is likely that your digestion is out of balance. Starting the day with a low sugar breakfast such as an omelette with vegetables will help control your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings during the day. It’s important to eat regularly. Those who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight.”

Research Fact Sheets

For more information see the British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheet below.