Personal Development Articles
title:Acupuncture Weight Loss - Fact or Fantasy?
author:Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc source url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/health/article 1212.shtml date saved:2007-07-25 12:30:11 category:health article: I remember back in my senior year of high school - my best friend since 5th grade was living in France. He wrote that they didn't like Americans much.
"They think we're all fat," he said. With his own skinny frame, of course, he confounded their belief. But, he added a funny, or perhaps ironic capstone to the issue. "I went to a store, and they were selling statues of these fat people, and, at the base of each one was written, 'American.'" Obesity is not only an American problem.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it's a global problem. They call it globesity. Parodoxically, their understanding of this problem began with their original mission to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. We live in a world where many have nothing to eat, and many eat too much. From 1995 to 2000, the number of obese adults worldwide mushroomed from 200 million to 300 million. That's a 50% increase in just 5 years! What is Obesity, and What is Overweight? Overweight means an excess of body weight. This excess weight may be muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Obesity refers specifically to an abnormally high proportion of body fat. You can be overweight without being obese - for example, a bodybuilder or other highly-muscled athlete. But many people who are overweight are also obese.
The main way to determine whether you are overweight or obese is with the body mass index (BMI). It doesn't directly measure body fat, and it's not gender specific, but it does give you a pretty reliable estimation. To find your BMI, divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height in meters squared. Yep, for the math-challenged, that's complex, so I'll give you a website that will figure it out for you, the National Institute's of Health BMI calculator (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/). This will very quickly tell you if you are normal, overweight, or obese, and it does all the calculating and metric conversions for you! Overweight is defined as a BMI above 25 (including those above 30 BMI, too), and obese is a BMI above 30. So, all obese people are overweight, but not all overweight people are obese. The Obesity Epidemic Obesity isn't just about not feeling good or having trouble getting dates… It leads to more than 300,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. 90,000 are preventable cancer deaths.
(CDC) Severely obese men die 13 years sooner than men of normal weight (JAMA). As a killer in America, obesity is second only to tobacco. (CDC) The Weight Loss Industry Spending: Americans spend between $40-50 billion per year to lose weight. Results: I haven't seen any recent news that Americans are getting any thinner - have you? Conclusion: What people are doing isn't working. If we want different results, we have to try a different solution. Acupuncture Weight Loss: Fantasy, or Fact? Fantasy or Fact? As a well-trained and fairly conservative Chinese medicine practitioner, I had assumed that acupuncture for weight loss was a marketing fad and a patient fantasy. Evidence: But while researching my upcoming book Chinese Medicine: A Practical Guide to Optimal Healing, I found some surprisingly positive information that changed my mind. Chinese Medicine's Collective Clinical Data on Acupuncture Weight Loss Chinese Medicine has thousands of years of clinical experience. This collective data not as convincing as randomized controlled trials are, but it does contain truth - it's imperfect but still valid and important. A U.
government study in the 80's concluded that 85% of western medicine is based on clinical experience, not on research. (Office of Technology Assessment of the Congress of the United States, The Impact of Randomized Controlled Trials on Health Policy and Medical Practice, Background Paper OTA-BP-H-22. Also see Michael Millenson's book, Demanding Medical Excellence) There is good Chinese Medicine research in Taiwan, Australia, and Europe that gets ignored by American scientists and media. Much research in Chinese has not even been translated into English. Seven Studies of Acupuncture for Weight Loss How it works: By enhancing the function of two neuroendocrine pathways that regulate many bodily processes, including metabolism. What it does: Lowers body weight, body fat, insulin levels, and lipid levels in the blood Decreases excessive appetite and makes it easier to satisfy your hunger with less food. Decreases menopausal weight gain In one study, acupuncture took off 10 pounds in 2 months - that translates to 60 lbs in a year! Combined with diet control, and aerobic counseling it not only takes off the pounds and body fat, but keeps them off, especially if you're diligent with their exercise. (See references at end of article for the research) Ephedra misuse and mislegislation Ephedra is a Chinese herb for colds and coughs.
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