Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Weight Loss and Early Life Trauma

Why do diets not work? We know the usual answers:  difficult to change habits, poor coping techniques, too stressed, and general life style issues. Then there is the biggie: early life trauma (especially sexual trauma). Vincent Felitti at Kaiser Permanente led a weight loss program that was successful in getting weight loss but not in helping people keep it off. No surprise there. As he studied this, he found that in 286 obese people half had been sexually abused as children. This is 50% higher than normal. The weight helped them feel safe. He began to look into it more and started a large-scale study, the ACE Study. This had 17,337 participants. Researchers with this data set have found that up to 66% of the group, which was middle-class, predominantly white and educated, had some childhood trauma. They developed a scale for childhood trauma. It was found that higher scores were related to many major medical problems: heart and lung disease, autoimmune disease, liver disease, cancer and diabetes. This was the case even when they controlled for other risk factors, like smoking etc. The take home message is to heal past trauma, the sooner the better for your medical health.

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September 27, 2010 - Posted by | weight management

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