Obesity – The Struggle Is Real. If you have trouble maintaining a healthy weight and the number on the scales keeps inching up, you are not alone. In fact, as many as 63% of Australians (1) and over 65% of New Zealanders (2) are overweight or obese. Not just a cosmetic concern, obesity is associated with a wide range of health and metabolic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar imbalances, diabetes and early onset dementia. The potential economic burden to the Australian government is catastrophic.
Almost 2 in 3 Australian adults (63%) were overweight in 2014–15, similar to 2011–12. Why is this so? Exciting new research proves we are metabolically diverse – for some even the humble tomato can tip the scales. #loseweightTweet
The Magnificent Microbiome
Over the last decade or so there has been enormous interest in the microbiome – the billions of microbes that live on and in the body. Researchers continue to discover how the microbiome influences numerous aspects of our existence, including the risk of becoming obese, developing metabolic imbalances and triggering hormonal problems. For some even the humble tomato can trigger weight gain or inhibit weight loss. The good news is, we have the technology to test microbiome diversity and tailor your diet to match. This means you stop making the wrong dietary choices and start to maintain a healthy body weight
Over 1 in 3 Australian adults (34%) had high blood pressure in 2014–15—a slight rise from 32% in 2011–12 Maintaining a healthy weight reduces cardiovascular disease risk. #Microbiome strains trigger weight gain and CVD riskTweet
Bacterial Balance Influences Weight
Of the many microbes resident in the gut, some are able to extract more energy from food than others. However, if you have too many of these bacteria (known as Firmicutes), then the body tends to store away this extra energy as fat, contributing to weight gain. If on the other hand, you have more of a different type of bacteria (called Bacteriodetes) then less energy is extracted from food, less fat is stored, and you are likely to be leaner. Restoring balance in the microbiome can help support healthy weight maintenance.
Probiotics to The Rescue
Probiotics (specific strains of beneficial bacteria) can positively influence the gut microbiome and health. Two strains in particular have been found useful in helping to control weight gain: Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (B-420™): As well as reducing fat mass (particularly belly fat and waist circumference), B-420™ has also been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and to reduce the ‘yo-yo’ weight regain often experienced after weight loss. Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (HN019™): This probiotic strain can reduce fat storage, body mass index (BMI), and lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol. HN019™ is particularly beneficial for those with metabolic conditions.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of the population aged 18 and over are overweight or obese (36% overweight, 28% obese) . Only one-third (35%) of Australian adults have a healthy body weight. Stop weight gain, restore health and live a longer, healthier life.Tweet
Daily Steps Towards a Healthier Weight
What you do daily matters! Incorporate healthy habits into your life to support healthy weight: Choose wholefoods and protein (e.g. meat, fish, tofu) with main meals, while minimising sweet, fatty, fried and fast foods. Move more. Go for a walk at lunchtime, take the stairs, spring clean the house, get into gardening, or walk the dog. There are millions of ways to move – whatever the way, just do it! Ensure you get a good night’s sleep, ideally 7 to 8 hours. Being well rested will ensure you are not looking for extra energy from food.Set yourself up for success by setting specific, measurable and achievable goals and meet them!
Part of a Bigger Plan
While probiotics can be purchased over the counter and including prebiotic foods into your diet are good for many, in some individuals this approach may may make things worse. If you are struggling to lose weight, you have weight loss resistance and it’s important to get to the cause.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Risk factors to health [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Government; 2017 [updated 2017 Aug 7; cited 2017 Sept 21]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/biomedical-risk-factors/risk-factors-to-health/contents/risk-factors-and-disease-burden
2 Ministry of Health. Understanding excess body weight: New Zealand health survey [Internet]. Wellington: Ministry of Health; 2015 [cited 2018 Sep 3]. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/understanding-excess-body-weight-new-zealand-health-survey