Why is obesity more common in the last few decades?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,355
    Health Expert William McCarthy explains why obesity is more common in the last few decades.

    William McCarthy

    Dr. William McCarthy is the Medical Director at the NOVA ABC Weight Loss Clinic

    Dr. McCarthy has been in private medical practice in the Northern Virginia area since 1976.  He received a BS (Magna cum laude) at Xavier University in Cincinnati, his M.D. degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, and served his internship and residency in Family Practice at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. McCarthy is board certified in bariatric medicine, which is the medical specialty of weight  disorders.  At this time, there are only approximatly 300 board certified bariatricians in the United States.

     He has served as the Chief of Staff and board member of Potomac Hospital here in Woodbridge.  He founded the nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education program at Potomac Hospital and served as it director for over twenty years.  He has been repeatedly voted by his peers as one of the top physicians in the D.C area in the Washington Consumer Checkbook.  Dr. McCarthy has also served as a board member of the Northern Virginia Foundation for Health and Medical Care and on the board of Physician’s Care insurance.  He was the team physician for the Prince William professional baseball team for many years, chosen by the Pirates, Yankees, Cardinals, and White Sox.   Dr. McCarthy has an outstanding reputation as a physician and educator, known not only for his broad knowledge of medicine, but also as a compassionate and caring physician.  After years of treating the health consequences that were brought on by excess weight, Dr. McCarthy decided to shift the focus of his care to the treatment and prevention of the actual cause of these medical problems.  Dr. McCarthy has attended numerous conferences, intensively studied the most current medical literature, and has spent time working with well known, experienced bariatricians in order to enhance his knowledge in the science of weight loss, metabolism, nutrition, exercise, and behavioral aspects of weight control.  He now dedicates his experience and knowledge to those who lives and health are adversely affected by their excess weight.

    Host: Why is obesity more common in the last few decades?

    Dr. William McCarthy: Obesity has been increasing dramatically over the past 30 years or so. We are seeing a lot of changes.

    Number one in dietary habits, much more availability of fast foods, much more reliance. People lead a very rush lifestyle. They have to eat quickly, eat the wrong thing; eat snack foods, high calorie foods. We have the availability of soft drinks and then we have the problem of serving size.

    Thirty years ago, serving sizes were not nearly what they are today. Many of the serving sizes are two to three times, back in the 1960s people were satisfied with a six-and-half ounce soft drink.

    Today it is either the big gulp or a 20 ounce soft drink and quite frequently it is even seconds. Secondly, we are seeing just a lack of activity. People are not exercising, even in schools, we have taken away physical activity, even in physical education classes.

    There is another theory too, that is out there and it probably is related and that is the theory of high-fructose corn syrup, which was introduced back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, which is a component of soft drink. Not only is it high in calories and high in sugar, but it may disrupt the metabolism in a way that may lead to a greater incidence of obesity.

    So, there are a lot of things going on these days, that just lead people to be more obese and it is because of lifestyle, diet, inactivity.