Understanding Obesity / Causes


While there are genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity in a person occurs when one takes in more calories than burned through exercise and normal daily activities. An individual’s body stores these excess calories as fat. Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, such as:

If a person is not very active, and doesn’t burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, he or she can easily take in more calories every day than used through exercise and normal daily activities.

Unhealthy diet and eating habits:
Having a diet that's high in calories, eating fast food, skipping breakfast, consuming most of the calories at night, drinking high-calorie beverages and eating oversized portions all contribute to weight gain.

During pregnancy, a woman's weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.

Lack of sleep :
Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. One may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.

Certain medications :
Some medications can lead to weight gain if a person don't compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetes medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers.

Medical problems :
Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. Some medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain. A low metabolism is unlikely to cause obesity, as is having low thyroid function.

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