Adversity can increase
the risk of obesity
Events in early childhood can affect how
and why some people become overweight
WRITTEN BY DOUG HORNER
In the field of obesity research and
knowledge, Dr. Arya Sharma is a
constant presence. He’s in journal
articles, in online references (just
try Googling him), in media, and
at conferences and gatherings.
This past fall, he was at the annual
meetings of Diabetes Canada and the
Canadian Society of Endocrinology
and Metabolism. Just another hectic
few days in the life of one of Canada’s
foremost obesity experts.
Sharma has a compelling message.
“Most people, unfortunately, look
at obesity simply as a lifestyle issue,”
Sharma says. “We know that lifestyle is
not very effective at treating obesity.”
The Canadian Medical Association,
American Medical Association and
World Health Association have all
declared obesity a chronic disease.
Genetics, socioeconomic status,
addictions, hormone regulation and
trauma can all influence our physiology
and relationship with food. In fact, one
of the largest investigations into the
long-term effects of childhood abuse
and neglect was inspired by a discovery
at an obesity clinic.
Dr. Vincent Felitti, head of Kaiser
Studies in Alberta have similar finding as studies in the United States that have found a strong link between obesity and adverse childhood experiences.