A leading US medical expert has expressed concern about Ireland’s obesity crisis declaring that Ireland is “not far behind the US” with 60% of Irish adults overweight or obese.
Prof John E. Lewis, Ph.D., associate director of the Medical Wellness Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said Ireland faced challenges in moving out of the top 10 of overweight countries– we are currently ranked seventh.
He said: “Ireland is already not far behind America, so I would be very concerned. The overweight/obesity crisis is a global, not just a US, problem. If Ireland is the 7th most obese country in the world, I believe it would be difficult to move out of the top 10 with any strategy in less than 24 months. Getting a large enough percentage of the population to lose weight that rapidly would probably be very challenging.”
The Miami Professor said that with the latest statistics showing 25% of Irish children overweight/obese, the time is now to implement measures to reverse the trend. “I would not say that the situation is already lost, but efforts to emphasize proper nutrition and daily physical activity are urgently needed,” he said.
Prof Lewis and his team in Miami concluded a study on tackling obesity by identifying food intolerances or hidden food sensitivities. The simple blood test can help identify food intolerances or hidden food sensitivities that may contribute to obesity, according to the study.
“We may have an effective new tool to help address the growing U.S. obesity epidemic,” said Lewis. “Identifying specific foods that cause a reaction from an individual’s immune system and eliminating them from the diet could be an additional strategy for long-lasting and perhaps permanent weight loss.”
He said: “The food intolerance test, along with proper nutrition (i.e., nutrient sufficiency), in tandem with other measures such as exercise, could definitely be the way to approach the overweight/obese crisis. Regardless what you eat, you must eat fewer calories than you expend every day and stay consistent with that caloric deficit over time to achieve meaningful weight loss. Eliminating foods that create reactions would theoretically lower inflammation, thereby assisting in weight loss.”
The finger prick bloodtest is available in Ireland from YorkTest Laboratories. Ireland Manager for YorkTest, Sonja Waters said: “This medical research indicates that people can improve their general wellbeing and lose weight by pinpointing intolerances they have to certain foods. By eliminating these foods and following a healthy eating plan devised by our support team, real benefits accrue.”
She added: “This trial based on targeting food intolerances resulted in the participants on average losing 12lbs over 90 days.”
The Miami study involved a finger prick blood test on 120 people (average age 45) across 115 foods. The test established which food provoked an IgG-mediated antibody response from the immune system.
Once the reactive foods were identified, the individuals had to eliminate those foods from their diet for 90 days. Body composition, blood pressure and pulse, and quality of life were assessed at baseline and 30-, 60-, and 90-day follow-ups. Participants received a manual explaining the programme, including suggestions for substitute foods with recipes. Subjects were also asked to keep a journal of their meals and overall quality of life.
“The results of our study showed that participants lost an average of almost 1 pound per week, which is just under the recommendation of what is considered safe, healthy, and potentially permanent weight loss,” said Prof Lewis.
About Miami University study:
The Miller School study, “Eliminating Immunologically-Reactive Foods from the Diet and its Effect on Body Composition and Quality of Life in Overweight Persons,” was published in the US Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy. It is believed to be the first to assess the effect of an Immunoglobulin G (IgG) food sensitivity test – in combination with a food elimination diet – on weight, body mass index, and quality of life in people who wanted to lose weight and/or were overweight.
YorkTest Laboratories is Europe’s leading provider of testing for IgG antibody reactions to foods and drinks; tests which are offered with Nutritional Therapist support. YorkTest Food&DrinkScan can be purchased from www.YorkTest.ie or by phoning (01) 2022701.