May 26, 2017

Dr. Phil Show: Is gut bacteria behind Steven’s obesity / laziness?

I was watching the Dr. Phil Show today and the second half of the show was about a 28 year old man, Steven, who still lives at home. The show focused on the lack of motivation on Steven’s part and the lack of will power and enabling behavior from his parents. Clearly there were many things going on here involving both Steven and his parents.

However one thing that was largely overlooked was the role of Steven’s morbid obesity and low energy in his life and still being at home. His younger brother was fit and athletic, his father maybe somewhat overweight but not obese and the mom might have In our country being overweight has often been attributed to people being physically inactive or eating an unhealthy diet. However recent research has suggested that the microbiome, the bacteria in the intestines, could play a strong role in the development of obesity and / or a low metabolism. Add to that the rates of prescriptions for antibiotics in each state appear to correlate with obesity rates in those states. Since Steven was born premature by several months, he may have been more frequently sick when he was a small child and more frequently prescribed antibiotics. I am sure that a test of the gut bacteria between the two brothers would show a very significant difference between the two. Perhaps the biggest root problem for Steven lies in the gut bacteria and a change in that bacteria could make all the difference.

Here are some articles about gut bacteria and obesity:

Impact of the gut microbiome on the development of obesity : http://www.nature.com/ajgsup/journal/v1/n1/full/ajgsup20125a.html

Gut Microbiota from Twins Discordant for Obesity Modulate Metabolism in Mice: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6150/1241214.abstract

States where antibiotics are more frequently prescribed have higher rates of obesity: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/11/maps-antibiotics-prescriptions-obesity-states