Obese and Malnourished.
The blood results came back and despite being so overweight that she was morbidly obese I could also see that from her results that she was also malnourished and suffering from malnutrition.
In Short malnutrition and being malnourished means you are not getting enough nutrients in your diet, and for those of you that don’t know what nutrients are; they are the essential minerals, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and proteins that you need to stay healthy, and for your body to grow, heal, and work properly.
As a general rule of thumb, nutrients are found in wholesome food, food that has been grown, and food that was once fresh rather than just food that has been manufactured, processed, packaged, filled with preservatives and put on the shelf in the supermarket in a box that has a sell by date printed on it for sometime next year.
So with over a third of the the patients on my list being obese and a third of these grossly obese, I can’t stop asking myself how the hell does a person who is large enough to make the chair in my consultation room splay and creak under her weight also have a diagnosis of malnutrition.
It’s ironic because in the world today more people die from the complications of being overweight rather than starvation, and like this patient eating the wrong things can mean that you are heading towards trouble and shortening your life bite by bite.
There’s a process called ‘Gavage’ or tube feeding, the barbaric process where a goose gets a tube rammed down its throat twice a day and force fed, the excess calories from the force feeding get turned into fat, this fat is initially stored in the liver, then after slaughter the goose liver saturated with fat is sold as foie gras. In the last few weeks I saw at least two ultrasound scans in patients showing a ‘fatty liver’ a medical condition caused when the liver is engorged with fat, foie gras when translated means fat liver, but these people unlike the geese do not need gavage and a tube jammed down their gullets twice a day to get their fatty livers, instead they are doing a very good job force feeding themselves food packed with excess empty calories.
Eating too much calorie dense food, too much sugar and food that is processed and low in nutrient value can cause you to be fat on the outside but also malnourished and starving for what it really needs on the inside, in addition to being depleted your body also starts to struggle handling all of the excess calories you have consumed.
People are making the wrong choices, they eat the wrong things, and don’t stop eating even when they have had enough, for some people the problem is down to education, but for the majority of people they know what they should be eating, and they know what they shouldn’t be eating and they also know when they are full.
The answer is not just as simple as eating a more nutritious diet, avoiding overeating, limiting carbohydrate dense food in favor of some leafy green vegetables, eating things that are fresh and that have once grown grown, the answer also lies in taking responsibility for the things you are putting into your mouth.
Today’s choices gives you tomorrow’s body, and when your choices are wrong your body gets too much of what it doesn’t need, and not enough of what it does, obesity is not just excess it’s also a form of malnutrition.