The Aetiology of Obesity: A New Perspective on an Old Problem


With the number of those affected growing at an alarming rate, the obesity epidemic has become a growing global health concern. Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist who specializes in obesity and intermittent fasting, challenges accepted wisdom regarding the causes of obesity in the first of a six-part series and suggests a novel strategy for combating this problem. We will go into more detail on the major issues raised by Dr. Fung in this article regarding “The Aetiology of Obesity Part 1 of 6: A New Hope.”

The Growing Epidemic of Obesity

In the opening of his speech, Dr. Fung emphasizes the recent sharp rise in obesity rates. He emphasizes that the issue affects developing countries as well as developed ones, making it a global health issue. Additionally, Dr. Fung points out that obesity is associated with a number of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers, all of which have detrimental effects on the general health and wellbeing of people as well as societies.

The model of calories in, calories out

The “calories in, calories out” theory is the foundation of conventional wisdom regarding obesity. According to this model, weight gain happens when a person consumes more calories than they burn off, and weight loss happens when the opposite happens. Dr. Fung contends that this model is flawed and oversimplified because it ignores the intricate hormonal and physiological factors that affect weight gain and loss.

The Obesity Hormonal Theory

Dr. Fung suggests that insulin, the main hormone in charge of regulating fat storage and utilization, be used as a focal point for understanding obesity from a hormonal perspective. He explains that while low insulin levels make it easier to use fat for energy, high insulin levels encourage the storage of fat. In order to effectively combat obesity, managing insulin levels is essential, claims Dr. Fung.

Diet’s Function

Dr. Fung emphasizes how diet can control insulin levels and, in turn, obesity. He points out that eating a lot of highly processed, carb- and sugar-rich foods causes insulin levels to rise, which encourages the storage of fat and weight gain. Unprocessed, whole foods, on the other hand, that are low in sugar and carbohydrates support stable insulin levels and promote weight loss.

The Ineffectiveness of Traditional Weight Loss Methods

Dr. Fung criticizes traditional weight loss methods that are based on the “calories in, calories out” theory, such as calorie restriction and increased exercise. He contends that because they do not address the underlying hormonal imbalances causing obesity, these methods frequently fail to result in long-term, sustainable weight loss. Instead, they could cause hunger to increase, metabolism to slow down, and weight to eventually return.

Fasting Intermittently: A New Method

Intermittent fasting is described by Dr. Fung as an alternative method of weight loss that addresses the hormonal causes of obesity. Alternating between eating and fasting for short intervals helps control insulin levels, encourage fat metabolism, and support weight loss. According to Dr. Fung, a variety of fasting protocols can be used, from daily time-restricted eating to prolonged multi-day fasts, letting people select a strategy that fits their preferences and way of life.


In “The Aetiology of Obesity Part 1 of 6: A New Hope,” Dr. Jason Fung questions the accepted wisdom about obesity and suggests a fresh viewpoint that places an emphasis on the function of hormones, particularly insulin, in controlling weight. Dr. Fung asserts that intermittent fasting may be a more efficient and long-lasting weight loss method than conventional calorie restriction and exercise regimens by addressing the hormonal aspects of obesity.

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