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Obesity is a chronic disease defined by an excess amount of body fat. A certain amount of body fat is needed for storing energy, shock absorption, heat insulation, and other functions. A person that has excess weight or body fat may affect their health. A doctor will usually suggest that a person has obesity if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI is a tool that doctors use to assess whether or not a person is carrying excess weight.
Inactive individuals burn fewer calories than active people. It’s been shown that a strong correlation between physical inactivity and weight gain in both sexes.
Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat. Foods high in fat or sugar have high energy density. Epidemiologic studies have shown that diets high in fat contribute to weight gain.
An individual is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For instance, one genetic cause of obesity is Leptin deficiency wherein Leptin is a hormone made in fat cells and the placenta. It controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. In addition, if the body cannot produce enough Leptin or cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost and obesity occurs. The role of Leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration.
Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas. In turn, insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and causes weight gain. Experts believe that simple carbohydrates contribute to weight gain because they are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates. The higher the insulin, the more it contributes to weight gain.
The relationship between the frequency of eating and weight is somewhat controversial. There are several reports that overweight people eat less often than people with normal weight.
Diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s syndrome are contributors to obesity.
Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to exercise can increase the risk of obesity.
For several people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions including anger, stress, sadness, and boredom. While the most overweight individual has no more psychological disturbances than normal-weight people, there are about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.
Medications linked with weight gain include:
Prescription medications used for the treatment of overweight and obesity work in different ways. For instance, some medicines may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Other medicines may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat.