Causes of Obesity
A person gains weight when more calories are consumed than the body will use. Excess calories are converted to fat. But that is more an explanation as to how weight is gained than as to why. Causes of obesity include age, gender, genetics, psychological profile, and environmental influences — although risk factors may be the more appropriate definition.
For instance, if someone has a predisposition for obesity then that person is more likely to become obese although such a predisposition does not guarantee that it will happen. A predisposition is simply a risk factor. Risk factors for health include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive fat that can negatively effect a person’s health. Obesity has become a worldwide problem in the last decade. In 2005, 1.6 billion adults were overweight with 400 million of those adults meeting the criteria for obesity. The projected number for overweight adults by 2015 is 2.3 billion with 700 million of those people meeting the criteria for obesity.
A person is considered to be obese if he or she is 20% or more above normal weight or when his or her body mass index is over 30. A person is considered morbidly obese if he or she is 50% to 100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight or has a body mass index of over 40.
Now that we’ve explored obesity, next let’s take a closer look at these five lesser known factors that contribute to weight gain. A few of these causes of obesity really surprised me!
5 Causes of Obesity
1. Genetic Factors of Obesity
Obesity often runs in families, leading to the supposition that that there may be genetic influences. The body’s ability to capture and use energy is a complex regulation and genetics must be involved. It should also be kept in mind that families may be sharing diets and lifestyles that contribute to obesity.
If family members eat a good deal of high-fat foods or snack foods, frequently eat at unscheduled times, and skip meals, the chances are good that you will have the same bad eating habits that cause weight gain. In addition, if family members are not physically active then you will probably not be physically active either.
2. Emotional Factors as Causes of Obesity
Emotional influences such as stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute to obesity. Many people use food to comfort themselves when they are feeling poor emotionally. Comfort foods are seldom healthy food choices and usually promote weight gain.
3. Gender’s Role in Obesity
In all WHO regions women were more likely to be obese than men. In the WHO regions for Africa, Eastern Mediterranean and South East Asia, women had roughly double the obesity prevalence of men. As a general rule, men have more muscle than women. Muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue. Therefore, men use more calories than women, even when at rest. This may explain, at least in part, why more women are obese than men.
4. Social Factors Linked to Obesity
Some social factors have also been linked to obesity. A lower income restricts the food types that can be purchased, and poorer people often purchase high-calorie, processed foods because they are less expensive and easier to prepare. Processed foods have been linked to obesity and obesity-related diseases.
5. Lack of Sleep and Obesity
Poor sleeping habits can contribute to obesity. A person who gets under seven hours of sleep per night can experience hormonal changes that increase appetite. Cravings for foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates can also occur.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life