GHRELIN is an interesting hormone. According to a recent article in WebMD (July/Aug 2018), this hormone is released from your stomach in large quantities when you lose weight. So, while you’re trying to reduce your weight, you’re releasing a hormone to encourage yourself to eat more so that you’ll gain weight! Not only that, the hormone ghrelin doesn’t level off after this roller-coaster ride. After you have been successful in losing weight, your body does what ever it can to make you fat again. That’s why researcher say that struggles with obesity and weight maintenance are a lifelong pursuit. Looking at your relationship with GHRELIN is definitely an intimate experience. The reason why is because this same hormone is your “hunger” hormone. It plays a pivotal role in helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Looks like this is another situation where you get the opportunity to make healthy food choices. Where have we heard that before? I know – everywhere…
A Medscape article (11/4/2016) citing Dr. Kevin Hall from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, states “that metabolism slows when patients lose weight.” He goes on to encourage medical providers to be aware that two processes are at work simultaneously: an increased appetite and a slowed metabolism. This awareness may lead medical provider to develop new treatment guidelines for their patients. Dr. Hall also goes on to highlight the fact that the few individuals who successfully maintain weight loss over the long term do so by heroic and vigilant efforts.
A white paper by FAIR Health, a national nonprofit organization, reports that the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in recent years and the increase appears to coincide with a rise in obesity rates and other obesity-related conditions (1/20/2017). This report is based on actual health insurance claims for a privately insured population. However, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) shows that there is a “fairly stable” obesity prevalence rate for children and adolescents. The difference between these reports is that the CDC survey is based on interviews and physical exams of a cross-sectional civilian population. However, each study reports a correlation between age and obesity; that means as our children get older they are getting fatter.
Weighty matters continue to be of concern in the U.S. In 25 states, laws now require that public schools monitor children’s body mass index (BMI) to identify overweight and obese students. Fewer than half of the parents receiving their child’s health report card accepted the school’s assessment of their child’s weight (WebMD July/Aug 2018). This may indicate that many parents see excess weight as normal. An article in WebMD Sept. 2018 issue indicates that more than 50% of babies born in the U.S. since 2000 could live to be at least 100 years of age. However, this golden centenarian age will definitely be decreased by the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity.
Since we have a lifelong relationship with GHRELIN, we may want to monitor our young children in the basic facts of good nutrition. Sometimes children view pictures of thin, photo-shopped models portrayed in posed-positions representing unattainable body images inconsistent with life and believe that these photos are the standard of success. Other children may be dealing with obesity issues and use food as a coping mechanism. Whether you’re an adult challenged with your own weight management lifestyle or you’re a parent dealing with childhood anorexia or obesity, you may want to sharpen your nutrition knowledge about the hormone GHRELIN.