Why do some people find it harder than others to lose weight? | News

Anushka Asthana talks to Dr Andrew Jenkinson, a consultant in bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. He discusses how his patients’ experiences of failed weight loss led him to spend years researching metabolism and weight reduction. Why is it that although most people consume food with too many calories, only some become obese?

Genes predispose you to obesity, he says, but your genetics need to be triggered by environmental change for you to become obese. In areas of the world where populations eat local, fresh ingredients, populations do not become obese. But if you change that food supply to processed food, some of that populations will become obese.

The United Arab Emirates is a good example of this, says Jenkinson, who holds clinics in Dubai. He notes that two generations ago the population ate a Bedouin diet. Now they have a far more processed diet and obesity rates have soared – 50% of UAE women are obese.

Jenkinson believes that by decreasing sugar and refined carbohydrates, increasing our omega 3 and 6 levels, and decreasing our cortisol (stress hormone) levels rather than cutting calories, people can permanently reduce their weight.

Jenkinson’s book Why We Eat (Too Much) is out now. whyweeattoomuch.co.uk

Archive: YouTube; ABC The Biggest Loser; University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Fox; Get the Gloss; The Body Coach; Huntley Film Archives

Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

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