Obesity: A Body and Mind Challenge

24 May 2024

Obesity is an abnormal increase in the proportion of fat cells in the body that presents a risk to health. It is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above (O’toole,2016). Worldwide adult obesity has more than doubled since 1990 and adolescent obesity has quadrupled. In 2022, 1 in 8 people were living in obesity (WHO, 2024). Obesity has become a global pandemic but it is entirely preventable.

The 3 M’s of weight gain

Overcoming obesity involves the body and mind.

Mother – Obesity involves genetics, conditioning and environment stimuli. Majority of obese have had problems with weight gain as children or adolescents. Mothers/parents may have nourished and given sugary treats to children which may be associated with comfort making it difficult to control desires for food. Counseling concerning this relationship with food may help motivation come forth (Haas and Levin, 2006).

Motivation – Fad diets may seem like fun but 80-90% of people who lose weight on these diets regain it back and lose motivation. Focusing on short term weight loss regimes can be frustrating. Focusing on long-range vision and continually telling ourselves we can do it, can help overcome weight gain. Forming new healthy habits may motivate us to break difficult psychological barriers (Haas and Levin, 2006).

Metabolism – Regular low-calorie-starvation diets often lead to rebounds which slow down metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight. Our body struggles to bring our set point back to what it thinks is “normal” and tries to maintain the body fat it is used to. We need to set a steady and non-fluctuating diet plan with regular exercise for our body to adapt to a lower weight set point and be more energy efficient (Haas and Levin, 2006).

Gain control of your body and mind and gain control of your health.

By: Yvonne Soriano / Nutritional Therapist


[1] Haas, E.M. and Levin, B. (2006). Staying healthy with Nutrition : the complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine. Berkeley ; Toronto: Celestial Arts, Cop.
O’toole, M.T. (2016). Mosby’s dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions. St. Louis, Missouri Elsevier.
[3] WHO (2024). Obesity and Overweight. [online] World Health Organization. Available here.