Heading Towards Obesity or Slenderness

What determines whether a person is headed for obesity or slenderness? The growth of the human body can be likened to that of a tree. When the tree's foundations are solidly built, it becomes strong and more resilient to damage in the future. Similarly, when a person's internal organs are robustly developed at an early age, they become sturdy, making it more difficult to weaken them later. In other words, when the internal organs are well-nourished in childhood, they tend to work efficiently later, potentially leading to obesity. This is why Chinese immigrants in the West rarely become overweight; their internal organs weren't over-nourished during their youth.

There are always two factors to consider when examining obesity: who you are and what you eat. Some people eat a lot but remain thin; others eat a little but gain weight. I recall a conversation with an excessively overweight gentleman at my Vancouver clinic who said he was taking vitamins as food supplements daily. I saw no reason for him to take vitamins, especially considering his weight. However, he responded, "I do not believe vitamins will contribute to weight gain, do you?" The question is, do vitamins play a role in obesity?

If you believe that only one factor (the food you eat) contributes to obesity, then it's clear that vitamins have no relation to obesity. Modern understanding of vitamins suggests they do not contribute to obesity. However, if you acknowledge that there are two factors contributing to obesity (who you are and what you eat), then you realize that vitamins can contribute to obesity. If they have any worth at all, vitamins must positively impact the body. For instance, Vitamin B-1 can increase appetite and absorption, and Vitamin D promotes normal bone and teeth growth. This means that vitamins can improve the body's condition and indirectly contribute to obesity, as a stronger body has a greater capacity to work hard during digestion and absorption processes.

It is not my intention to demonize vitamins as the cause of obesity. My primary aim here is to highlight the two factors contributing to obesity and stress that both should be taken into account. When a person is over-nourished at an early age, the internal organs, especially the digestive system, develop an enhanced capacity for digestion and absorption, predisposing this person to obesity later in life. I deliberately use the term 'over-nourished' (as opposed to undernourished) because it indicates an undesirable situation. It's not always true that the more our body is nourished, the better; we need balance. A strong, imbalanced body can be just as problematic as a weak, balanced one.

Weight Loss and Chinese Medicine Articles: