Obesity Causes

Obesity Causes

Obesity Causes

Obesity is a frequent and rising health concern, owing to the fact that many people's contemporary lives include consuming excessive amounts of high-calorie foods and spending a lot of time sitting, and the causes of obesity are discussed below.

Unbalanced energy

Energy imbalance causes weight growth and obesity because the energy that enters the body is not equal to the energy that it expends. This energy is measured in calories, and the energy that enters the body is defined as the number of calories consumed. It is obtained through foods and beverages, and the energy it uses is the number of calories that the body consumes in various processes such as breathing, digestion, physical activity, and body temperature regulation, and it is worth noting that weight gain and obesity develop over time when eating more calories than the body consumes, or when internal energy exceeds external energy, causing the body to retain fat as a result of the energy imbalance.

Unhealthy eating habits

A diet rich in calories, low in fruits and vegetables, and high in fast food, high-calorie beverages, and big portions may contribute to weight gain. Obesity is not something that happens overnight. Rather, it develops over time as a result of a bad diet and an unhealthy lifestyle, such as consuming a lot of processed meals or high-fat, high-sugar fast foods, and eating a lot of foods outside the home, In addition to eating more food than the body requires and consuming significant amounts of sugary liquids such as soft drinks and fruit juices, emotions of despair and poor self-esteem may contribute to increased food consumption in trying to enhance mood.

Medical causes of obesity

Some medical disorders have been linked to weight increase, and the following are a few examples:

Weight gain and obesity can be caused by endocrine abnormalities such as the ones listed below:

Hypothyroidism: is a disorder in which the thyroid gland produces insufficient hormones.

Cushing's syndrome: is an uncommon condition in which the steroid hormones are overproduced.

Tumors: Because tumors form near the areas of the brain that govern appetite, certain tumors may induce. It may cause weight gain in addition to drugs for high blood pressure and seizures.

Many genetic disorders have been linked to overweight and obesity, including the ones listed below:
  • Prader-Willi syndrome. 
  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome. 
  • Alström syndrome. 
  • Cohen syndrome.

Risk factors for obesity

Risk factors for obesity

Here are some of the obesity-related risk factors:

Lack of movement: is one of the major factors linked to obesity, as many people work in jobs that require them to sit in front of a computer for long periods of time, relying on cars instead of walking or riding a bike, and some people prefer to relax and watch TV, surf the Internet, or play video games, Many people may be unable to exercise due to physical disabilities. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2011, people who are unable to exercise due to physical disabilities are more likely to be overweight and develop chronic diseases than the general population.

Genes: Many genes regulate hunger, satiety, and the body's capacity to use dietary fats as fuel, as well as storing energy as fats. Adipocytes also produce a hormone called leptin, which is related to body weight and produced by adipocytes. This hormone reaches the brain, binds to receptors, and plays a role in the body's ability to use and store energy, resulting in a decrease in appetite and an increase in the generation of body heat from energy, reducing obesity. Some people with a certain genetic makeup may have a deficiency in the hormone leptin or its receptors.

Lack of awareness: Obesity is one of the most common issues among teenagers, as is a lack of knowledge about it and its risk factors. Obesity myths and misunderstandings proliferate through the media, popular culture, and scientific research, according to a study published in the Canadian Family Physician in 2014. Food fraud is especially concerning because misinformation can reach a person indirectly through family and friends, who may be the source of dietary misunderstandings.

Psychological factor: Although it may be difficult to distinguish psychological influences from biological and social causes of obesity, there are many cognitive, behavioral, and emotional factors that influence eating behaviors and physical activities related to obesity. For example, binge eating disorder causes weight gain by eating large amounts of food in a short period of time without exercising, and theories suggest that binge eating is a more dangerous form of emotional eating than emotional eating, They are, however, only temporary fixes, and the bad sentiments will soon return.

Media: Advertisements for fast food influence what youngsters desire to eat and what foods they want their parents to prepare. Marketing food to children is mainly for harmful items, according to the British Heart Foundation and the Baby Food Campaign, which plays an essential part in encouraging children to follow an unhealthy diet, which may continue into adulthood.

Societal environment: It's worth noting that people's decisions are influenced by their surroundings. For example, a person may not be able to walk or cycle to the store or work if there are no safe sidewalks or bike paths, and the community environment, home, childcare, school, health care, and work can all influence people's daily behaviors. It's therefore critical to create an environment that encourages physical activity and healthy eating.

Sleep problems: Sleep deprivation increases the desire to eat sugar, negatively affects self-discipline, and weakens the person's determination to exercise. Chronic stress and not sleeping enough hours may lead to an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol, which leads to an increase in the feeling of hunger and, as a result, weight gain.

Studies on the causes of obesity

According to a 2014 research published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, formula milk stimulates fast development after delivery, but breastfeeding aids moderate growth. This minimizes the risk of weight gain and obesity. This effect, however, is dependent on the unique composition, metabolic, and physiological responses of breast milk and breastfeeding should be encouraged until at least 6 months of age to reduce the risk of childhood and adolescent obesity, as a study found that introducing formula milk before 6 months of age increased the risk factor Overweight and obesity at the age of 20 compared to normal milk.

The impact of psychological and emotional aspects on eating behavior and body weight control, particularly in persons with low socioeconomic position, was proven in a research published in the Journal of Obesity in 2019. Psychological therapies may play an essential role in weight control techniques and general health, according to the findings of the study.

Obesity and its risks

Obesity is defined as extra body fat that adds to an elevated risk of other health issues. A person is deemed obese if his BMI is more than 30, whereas an overweight person has a BMI of 25 to 30.

Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of health conditions, including the following:
  • Strokes and heart disease.
  • Diabetes type 2.
  • Cancer.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Bone problems.
  • Gout.
  • Apnea (sleep deprivation).

Obesity treatment options

Obesity treatment

It is important to remember that there is no quick fix for obesity and that reducing weight gradually is preferable to losing weight quickly. Rapid weight reduction causes muscle, bone, and water loss rather than fat loss, and here are some methods for overcoming obesity:

Create a plan that is tailored to each person's situation.

To lose weight, calories must be consumed in less than the amount burned by the body, and it should be noted that the amount of calories the body burns is determined by the metabolic rates in its body; on the other hand, eating very small amounts of calories may slow down the metabolism in the body and reduce the consumption of some nutrients, so knowing the number of calories the body burns is critical in determining the appropriate amount of calories to consume.

The following guidelines should be followed to reduce weight in a healthy manner:

Reducing carbohydrate intake: Reducing carbohydrate intake aids weight loss by suppressing hunger and lowering calorie consumption.

Stay away from sugary beverages: Sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, chocolate milk, and other liquids with added sugar, should be avoided.

Increase protein: Protein is one of the most essential nutrients that, when ingested as part of a calorie-restricted diet, may aid weight reduction by improving metabolic levels in the body and dramatically lowering hunger, both of which aid weight loss and maintenance.

Consultation with a nutritionist: If you're attempting to modify your diet, it's a good idea to consult with a nutritionist beforehand.

Increase physical activity

To reduce weight, you must combine dietary adjustments with at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every day. You can go for a quick stroll, swim, or play tennis.

Other tips for gaining weight

Get professional help: If a person has previously struggled with weight loss, they can speak with a counselor or psychiatrist about how to make long-term changes, and some techniques can help, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches the person to recognize when and why they are eating, as well as how to change negative thoughts.

Sleeping enough hours: People who are attempting to lose weight should strive to obtain at least eight hours of decent sleep each night, as not sleeping enough hours may not provide the body with the necessary rest.

Continuity and perseverance: Trying to lose weight as rapidly as possible by hunger is not a smart long-term strategy, and in general, a person should set realistic weight-loss objectives and stick to them.

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