What Causes Obesity?

Posted on: September 13th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-100112630Obesity happens when your body takes in more calories and stores these as fat without you burning them through exercise and normal daily activities.

Let us consider the various factors (usually a combination of these) which affect one's body weight and cause obesity:

  • Disparity between the energy you put in from what you put out

    The ideal equation is an energy balance which is determined with the energy you put IN which should be equivalent to what put OUT. A lack of this will cause obesity.

    The energy you put IN is derived from the energy or calories from food and drinks you take in. If the energy you put OUT which your body uses for physical activities does not consume what you put in, then, you're in trouble.

    You don't have to balance the two every day. The balance is accumulated through time. Overweight and obesity develop over time when you take in more calories than you use.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle
    You should understand now why being such a couch potato will do you more harm than the pleasure you get out of watching TV the whole day.   People who are inactive have the tendency to gain weight. Remember the ideal equation discussed above. 

    Unfortunately, more and more people bury themselves in computers doing work, schoolwork, and leisure activities giving no more room to move.

    And what's with being dependent on cars and elevators instead of walking? (Sigh…)

  • Environment

    Despite the rigid campaign for "health", what we see in our environment doesn't fully provide more venues for healthy lifestyle habits.

    Take the following examples:

    1.       Affordable gyms for the public to make it easy for people to be physically active rather than the exotic ones where celebrities frequent and where one needs to maintain dues.

    2.       Fast food chains and oversized food portions which are good businesses. But are they good for the health?

    3.       Access to healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is costly.

    4.       Unregulated food campaigns from food companies which are often directed to children. Campaigns which are really about high-calorie, high-fat snacks and sugary drinks.

  • Emotional Factors

    There are people whose eating habits are triggered by their emotional state. Depression, loneliness, anger, low self-esteem are often times the potent emotions which can lead people to eating more than their usual intake.  In time, this can lead to weight gain and cause overweight or obesity.

  • Not enough sleep

    Sleep is one factor which affects your hormones like ghrelin and leptin which make you feel hungry or full. When you lack sleep, ghrelin goes up and leptin goes down which makes you feel hungry compared to when you have a full eight-hour sleep at night and you are well-rested. 

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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