What Causes Obesity?

What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition wherein the body has accumulated a high proportion of body fat.  Although fat is also important in the body in that it stores fuel for energy as well as provide insulation for the body, too much may also be associated with a number of health conditions. Obesity has been seen as a contributor to the development of certain human ailments such as diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis as well as a number of cardiovascular diseases.

Causes of obesity

Obesity can be caused by a number of things. Aside from the genetic standpoint where some people become obese as a result from the genes that they inherited from their parents, there are other ways that can also be the reason why some people become obese. Certain factors that work together may help in making people gain weight and become obese over a period of time.

One of the major causes of obesity today is the type of diet that a person follows. Consumption of high-calorie foods can bring about weight gain. A diet of fast food, especially those on increased portion sizes have allowed quite a number of people to become overweight. A diet that is also high in fat and sugar is said to help one easily gain weight over time.

Inactivity is also one of the causes of obesity, especially if it is coupled with a high calorie diet. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle will have fewer opportunities of trying to burn fuel in the body taken as food. Inactivity will, in turn, compel the body to store up the excess fuel taken up in food as body fat. This becomes excess weight and in time will accumulate and make one obese.

Another known cause of obesity in humans is a number of medical conditions such as low thyroid function and excess hormonal production in the adrenal glands. Having a low body metabolic rate may also help in making people obese over time.

In women, pregnancy may also contribute to the increased of body weight. At pregnancy, weight gain is important for the development of the baby. But that excess weight may become hard to take off for some women after they give birth.

For smoker’s, quitting smoking may also contribute to a sudden increase of body weight at some point. This is due to the nicotine’s ability to rate the metabolic rate which is the rate at which the body burns calories for energy. By quitting smoking, the body is deprived of nicotine which then leads the body to burn fewer calories due to a lower metabolic rate.

Quitting smoking can also lead to obesity in some people as most look to food as an alternative to their previous smoking habit. Other types of medication may also contribute to one’s obesity.

A number of medications such as corticosteroids and tricyclic antidepressants have been known to promote weight gain. Other known medication that may also have the same effect include those used to treat high blood pressure as well as some psychiatric ailments.


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