Acupuncture: an effective treatment for obesity and overweight.
Coronavirus and terrorism are on everybody’s mind. But most people don’t know that many more people die due to the effects of obesity and overweight. It is a pandemic public health issue and health problems resulting from being overweight or obese now affect more than 2 billion people worldwide. More than half of the European population is overweight and up to 30% is obese. In Switzerland, the number of obese people has more than doubled since 1980 and the rates are projected to increase at a faster pace by 2030. (5-6)
Obesity imposes devastating health and financial tolls on individuals and society. It is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality from hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, fertility and some cancers. (6)
Lifestyle interventions and diets are foundational to the successful management of obesity, but often not sustainable. The solution for losing weight is much more complex than just eating less and do more physical exercise. Obesity is a very complex multidimensional and neuroendocrine problem. Therefore, there is a need for other strategies and acupuncture can be a safe and effective alternative.
Acupuncture can be an answer as a supplementary treatment to a diet in the management of obesity and weight control. Recent scientific evidence has shown that acupuncture regulates the autonomic nervous system and hormones and is effective to reduce the appetite and thus food intake. Acupuncture is recognized and recommended by the WHO for its clinical effectiveness and its safety and has no adverse effects. Acupuncture improves leptin resistance, lowers ghrelin levels and decreases glucose levels. (7) Acupuncture should therefore no longer be viewed as some mystic practice, but considered as an effective treatment for obesity both alone and together with lifestyle modification and diet. (1,3,8)
Literature and links:
- Cho et al. (2009) Acupuncture for obesity: A systematic review and meta analysis. Int. J. Obes.
- Cui et al. (2017) The cellular and molecular bases of leptin and ghrelin resistance in obesity. Nat Rev Endocrinol.
- Chen (2019) Acupuncture for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta- analysis of randomized controlled trials. Complement Ther Clin Pract.
- Fang et al. (2017) Acupuncture and Lifestyle Modification Treatment for Obesity: A Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
- Friedrich (2017) Global Obesity Epidemic Worsening. JAMA.
- OECD Obesity update 2017
- Park (2017) The efficacy and safety of acupuncture on serum leptin levels in obese patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur. J. Integr. Med
- Zhang et al. (2017) Acupuncture for the treatment of obesity in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Postgrad Med J