The study was published recently in a journal called the Annals of Medicine and Surgery. The research was the work of experts associated with two universities in Makassar, Indonesia.
Growing, intractable problem
The rising tide of obesity has become a worldwide problem. While the issue has been obscured somewhat by the global pandemic, it continues on apace. According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, and 650 million of those were obese. In 2020, WHO estimated that more than 39 million children aged 5 and under were obese. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled in the 1975-2016 time frame.
Along with the rising tide of obesity has come a concomitant increase in diabetes. WHO statistics show that 422 million people worldwide now suffer with the disease, which kills 1.6 million people annually.
The reasons for this development are both murky and multifactorial. Is it not enough exercise, with young people growing up in front of video screens and consumed by handheld devices? Too much sugar and not enough whole food consumption?
Finding a nutritional solution to the problem has been a goal of research for decades. While certain ingredients and approaches have shown limited utility, to date no universally and markedly effective solution has been found, with the possible exception of ephedrine alkaloids, which were taken off of the market because of safety concerns.
Focus on the microbiome
But the search continues, with much recent attention devoted to the state of obese individuals’ microbiomes. Research has shown that the microbiomes of obese individuals differ from those of people at a healthy weight. Whether that implies a causal relationship is something researchers are still trying to determine.