Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Weight loss has been a tough journey for many, but changing the approach and addressing the issues surrounding weight loss could possibly change that. During the pandemic, 42% of adults in the U.S. unintentionally gained an average of 29 pounds with 60% of them stating that losing weight became more of a struggle since the pandemic began.
It doesn’t make it easier for people to lose weight when only 56% of physicians feel qualified enough to treat obesity and just 46% find themselves to be successful in doing so. In fact, more than half of doctors in the U.S. are officially trained in obesity management. Getting overweight patients to go see doctors is also a serious issue. Johns Hopkins found that 21% of overweight patients were unlikely to trust their doctor’s advice because they felt they were being judged or were given unpleasant comments. 55% of patients with obesity have even reported canceling an appointment because they were concerned about the possibility of being weighed.
Medications are available to help people lose weight, but they are underutilized as only 24% of doctors make up 90% of weight loss prescriptions. There are several safe and effective medications for weight loss being sold in the market, such as semaglutide and bupropion. However, only about 3% of eligible patients are being prescribed medications.
Many Americans have said that the weight loss process itself is almost as miserable as being overweight. One reason is the toll weight loss has on mental health. 80% of people with mental illnesses are actually overweight or obese. Mental illnesses can lead to anxiety, impulsivity, and loss of sociability as well as impairment to memory and mental processes that make it harder to stay motivated and learn/practice behaviors that help weight loss. Depression related to weight concerns can cause physical problems, such as unusual stomach issues, difficulty sleeping, and body aches. Depression can result in some people feeling hungry more often or eating emotionally as well as binge eating. Others might experience decreased appetite or even unplanned weight loss.
People with food addiction could find weight loss more of a challenge as food addiction evokes behaviors and physical patterns that are very similar to substance abuse. These could include having triggers like settings or images and feeling hungover from eating too much. Food addiction arises in some people to help them cope with problems ranging from anxiety to depression, which could make it harder to lose weight.
It is important to understand that losing weight is not the end of the weight-loss journey. Keeping weight off is also difficult to maintain. 97% of dieters actually regain the weight they lost as well as gain extra weight within three years. Weight loss also doesn’t immediately translate to better mental wellbeing. One study has shown that people who lost a great amount of weight were at higher risk of getting depression four years later.
Weight loss can come with multiple struggles, but understanding where you are in your weight-loss journey and doing what works for you can help you make a weight loss plan for life.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked