In the US and Canada, about one-third of the adult population is medically obese – many kilograms over the appropriate weight for their height. Based on present trends, everyone in the US will be obese by the year 2234. According to the World Health Organization, fatness is not just a Western issue, obesity is on the rise in Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia.
Oriental medicine views unexplainable weight fluctuations as an imbalance affecting the digestive system, primarily the functioning of the stomach-spleen system. The stomach receives food and breaks it down while the spleen receives the broken-down food and transforms it into a nutritive substance that combines with air (oxygen) taken in from the lungs, thereby producing blood and Qi. The nutritive substance is then distributed to the rest of the body. An imbalance in the stomach-spleen system can result in both weight gain and weight loss. For instance, if the spleen and stomach are weak they may turn your food and fluid into fat instead of nutritive substances.