Obesity is a medical condition where there is an excessive accumulation of body fat, generally a BMI over 30. Nowadays, we are facing an obesity epidemic. In the US, obesity is rising at an alarming and continually escalating rate. Most disturbingly, more than 2/3 of American adults are overweight!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity has increased significantly in the US over the past 30 years. Data collected from 1999 to the present indicates that “more than 1/3 of adults are obese (35.7%), approximately 17% of children and adolescents are obese, and one in six is overweight.”
In 1980, obesity rates of 15% or more were not heard of. Nowadays, there is not even one state that has an obesity rate lower than 20%, and forty-one states have obesity rates of 25% or more. These numbers CONTINUE to rise at a very scary rate, correlating with some of the leading causes of preventable death including obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer.
Childhood obesity is a major health concern plaguing the nation. One major factor leading to childhood obesity is the lack of energy expenditure. Children and young adults today are not nearly as active as they used to be decades ago. Most of their activities involve limited movement like watching TV, spending time playing video games, surfing the Internet, smartphone, or iPad, with far less time engaging in physical activities. Wholesome activities like playing tag, hide and go seek, kick the can, sports, etc., have been replaced by technological devices!
Sedentary activities are linked to higher caloric consumption with increased body fat levels. (Bowman, S. A., et al.). Most disturbingly, aggressive, greedy, profit-focused advertisers prey on our children. The constant aggressive advertising of sodas and high-fat /high-sugar-insulin-spiking-chemical laden processed foods negatively influences children’s preferences (Child Health Alert, 2008). The prevalence of emotional, respiratory, neurological, and orthopedic issues, as well as diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, is becoming WAY too commonplace in our young people today.
Childhood obesity not only increases the likelihood of advanced obesity during adulthood but leaves young adults much more likely to experience devastating health problems all throughout their lifetime. It becomes the responsibility of the parents and other influential adults to be conscious, responsible, and knowledgeable enough to pave the path for the success of our children’s health and longevity! Unfortunately, many of these parents are also victims of a toxic food supply and poor diet and lifestyle habits.
NUMEROUS factors contribute to the obesity epidemic we face today. The highly acidic diet and lifestyle habits of the Western culture are at the ROOT cause of this condition. The consumption of processed foods, foods produced with antibiotics, preservatives, pesticides, growth hormones, GMOs, excessive sugar, white flour and other refined products, gluten, oxidized vegetable oils, addictive chemical food additives, pasteurized and homogenized commercial dairy products, the over-consumption of meat and cooked food, alcohol, toxin-laden drinking/showering water, toxic home, and beauty care products, along with the lack of/limited movement and exercise, lack of conscious awareness, and excessive stress levels, all contribute to this widespread EPIDEMIC!
This may be hard to conclude, but when you add up all these factors our bodies are actually starving for nutrition! When you think of someone who is starving, most people create a mental image of a homeless individual on the street or a poor person from an underdeveloped nation who is underprivileged and hungry. You never consider a person who eats Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, Chinese for lunch, and pizza for dinner to be starving, but they actually are!
Yes, the majority of Americans today are overfed and undernourished! The overconsumption of calories DOES NOT mean that the body is getting the nutrition it needs. Without adequate nutrition, the body’s metabolism slows down significantly, stacking on the pounds! Additionally, most of the foods people are consuming are over-cooked and/or processed. These poor food choices not only provide very little nutritional value for the cells but actually steal nutrients away from them!
The empty calories from these nutrient-less food choices do the body much more damage than good. In an attempt to digest these nutrient-less foods, nutrients are robbed from other parts of the body to make up for what these inferior foods lack. Now the body experiences a nutrient deficit as a result of these poor food choices, leaving it far more vulnerable to illness!
A good example of this would be to compare real whole grain bread to white bread. Whole grains encompass all parts of the grain kernel, the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. However, refined grains (like the flour used to make white bread products – and yes, that includes pizza), have had the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ removed through processing. After processing, only the endosperm containing mostly starch and some protein remains intact. The small amount of essential fatty acids that are left from refined grains are damaged and contain far less vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and other nutrients than its whole-grain counterpart. As a result, the body remains in a constant state of uncontrollable hunger, struggling to acquire the nutrients it needs for survival. The body thinks that you are starving and holds on to the fat, making fat loss almost impossible!
These fiber-lacking refined carbohydrates are basically pure simple sugar. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, like processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup, white flour, and other sugar products will eventually lead to insulin resistance, where cells are no longer as sensitive to insulin. In turn, uncontrollable weight gain can result as excessive blood sugar quickly gets stored as fat to protect the body! If left unchecked, this resistance can LIKELY advance to metabolic syndrome greatly increasing your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The quality of food intake is of major concern. Although much better than processed foods, conventionally produced whole foods sold nowadays contain far less nutrition than years ago. This is due to the use of toxic chemical pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, synthetic hormones, over-farming, infertile soil, and the degradation of food through processing.
The fact of the matter is that our cells need to be nourished with sufficient amounts of pure water, vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients from whole food sources, in order to supply the body with the cellular energy necessary to function properly on a daily basis. Remember, when your cells are not nourished with nutrient-dense food calories, your metabolism or energy making capacity slows down substantially, again, making fat loss and all metabolic function extremely difficult.
Another major problematic issue that leads to and results from obesity is poor intestinal health. For optimal health the bacterial ecology of the intestines must have the appropriate ratio which is 85/15% good/bad bacteria. Unfortunately, due to improper diet and lifestyle practices, lack of proper cleansing, prescription drugs, the use of antibiotics in animal products, and the many other factors previously stated, this ratio is flipped, the digestive tract is overrun by mostly pathogenic bacteria instead of health-promoting beneficial friendly flora, and food is only partially digested at best. Remember, you are what you ABSORB, not just what you eat!
These pathogenic bacteria become EXTREMELY harmful when disproportionate to the good guys. They consume the food you eat and metabolize it to form alcohol, ammonia, and other highly toxic substances, congesting the liver and the brain. The small amount of candida yeast that is present in a healthy balanced individual allows the immune system to operate optimally, but when candida grows out of control it turns into a pathogenic fungus that can cause plenty of damage. These now toxic microbes can cause inflammation to the intestinal lining, preventing nutrients from being absorbed, and potentially allowing undigested food particles and their acidic toxic byproducts to enter the bloodstream, POISONING the body on a systemic level. In turn, the immune system gets totally overworked, subjecting you to further weight gain along with a domino effect of deteriorating health issues, like autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions.
Another factor sparking obesity is the buildup of harmful environmental toxins in the body. Environmental toxins like xenoestrogens found in pesticides, plastics, and many beauty care products can have a detrimental effect on your hormones and cause further acidification of fluids and inflamed tissues. Xenoestrogens, just like the fat cells themselves, can instigate estrogen dominance, lower testosterone and progesterone, and decrease muscle mass (while increasing fat retention). The continuous exposure to these dangerous, toxic chemicals clogs up the detoxification pathways that work to eliminate them, elevating the risk of damage that can lead to diseases like cancer.
Unfortunately, since the 1940s, over 100,000 new toxic chemicals have been introduced to the environment resulting from mass industrialization. On top of that, 1500 additional chemicals are added to this chemical soup almost annually making the world increasingly more toxic. According to Dr. Lynda Frassetto, an acid-alkaline researcher from the University of California, “We have been forced to turn an evolutionary corner”. The body is so overwhelmed with cellular acid-waste that “We simply do not handle acid waste the way we used to.” The abundance of toxins and acidic waste impairs the cells’ ability to excrete waste and to absorb the nutrients and oxygen necessary. Again, this stresses the importance of regular and proper cleaning practices!
OBESITY AND PH
If you are overweight or obese the body will be acidic and inflamed at some level. After packing on excess pounds, weight loss can be much harder to achieve, even when exercising and starting to eat healthier. Sound familiar to some of you? When the body is overly stressed and metabolizing slowly, internal detoxification systems cannot keep up with the overabundance of waste, so the body has to find a way to protect itself from this onslaught of toxic chemicals. The blood is forced to PUSH the acid waste into the tissues to maintain its ideal narrow blood pH range to avoid clinical complications or death. Used as a protective mechanism, the body opts to then store these chemicals and acid waste in the fatty tissue to protect the organs from damage. Fat cells basically become a rent-free storage house for this acidic waste! So, the more toxins you have, the more fat you end up holding onto. This is a major reason why shedding the excess weight can become a very distressing task indeed.
As many preventable levels of acidosis increase over the years, unwelcomed negative conditions will continue to express themselves. Excessive acid causes your blood to coagulate. As you gain weight, your blood doesn’t flow as well around all the fatty acids, and begins to clump, clogging up and killing capillaries, while increasing fatty deposits in the arteries. High blood sugar, high blood pressure, elevated homocysteine levels, lipid oxidation, high acidity, free radicals, all contribute to the damaged arteries which then causes plaque to build. This poor circulation also deprives the skin of sufficient blood flow needed for the release of toxic acidic waste from the cells.
Simultaneously, the lack of nutrient absorption causes the skin to lose its elasticity from a lack of collagen production. Additionally, acidosis interferes with CRITICAL enzyme production and function, slowing down digestion and metabolism, and impairing the processing and absorption of nutrients. This can eventually affect every bodily function.
A cascading chain of events is enacted, starting with excess weight gain, then gradually progressing to obesity and a body filled with toxic acidic waste. Eventually, organs are affected, as seen in the pancreas with insulin resistance and diabetes, the thyroid with a dysfunctional metabolism, the joints with arthritis, the arteries with arteriosclerosis, and so on. Gall bladder disease is also common in obese individuals, which can lead to pancreatitis if stones block the common tube that the pancreas and the gallbladder share. Enzymes can then flow back into the pancreas causing it to eat itself! Obesity leads to a crapshoot of PREVENTABLE degenerative diseases. Until you begin to balance your pH and control inflammation through positive changes in diet and lifestyle, dangerously overweight conditions will continue to tax your body systems and subject you to premature aging and disease!
Many recognized doctors and researchers have shown that acidosis and numerous body dysfunctions have been associated with obesity.
Dr. Robert Young, author of the bestselling book, the pH Miracle, links acidity with obesity, “You can thank an overly acid internal environment for the excess pounds you are carrying around.”
In his research, Ion Johnson highlighted that obesity is linked to insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer like stomach, colorectal carcinoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. It was established that these patients do not consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables. (1)
In 2011, through observational studies, M. Adeva showed the relationship between acidosis and obesity. It was reported that low urine pH levels were exhibited when there is a deficiency in fruits and vegetables and the excessive consumption of processed and animal products, inducing a state of acidosis. In response to the high dietary acidic load, many conditions can emerge, like excess body weight, obesity, calcium stones, insulin resistance, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, chronic kidney failure, cancer, and just about any other disease you can think of. (2)
As a side note, keep present that just as with obesity, under and normal-weight individuals are subject to acid imbalances as well of course. In fact, 40% of normal-weight individuals have some form of metabolic dysfunction, as opposed to 80% of the obese. Being underweight and acidic can also be very dangerous, as there isn’t sufficient fat to protect the organs from the acid waste. So, if you’re just not consuming enough food, or just eating a normal amount of inferior food choices, the digestive system can become imbalanced, preventing the body from absorbing the necessary nutrients, and leaving you skinny and weak. Once the under or normal weight body starts to alkalize, it begins to fill out in all the right places and muscle mass is more attainable.
Remember, significant weight disturbances exist primarily in inflamed, unbalanced pH bodies. Detox, balance your pH, and lose weight!
1-Johnson, Ian T. “Cancers of the gut and western ills.” Science 307.5717 (2005): 1839. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
2-Adeva, M. M., & Souto, G. (2011). Diet-induced metabolic acidosis. Clinical Nutrition, 30(4), 416-421.
Green, Gregory, Brenda Hargrove, and Clarence Riley. “Physical activity and childhood obesity: strategies and solutions for schools and parents.” Education 132.4 (2012): 915+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
Bowman, S. A., Gortmaker, S. L., Ebbeling, C. B., Pereira, M. A.,& Ludwig. D. S. (2004). Effects on fast-food consumption on energy intake and diet quality among children in a national household survey. Pediatrics, 11 (1), 112-118.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Overweight & Obesity: Data and Statistics. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/facts.html
Child Health Care Alert (2008). A survey of current development affecting child health care.