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What Causes Obesity?

Obesity is considered one of the biggest health problems worldwide. When it comes to the cause of obesity, poor nutrition and lack of exercise are important factors. 

What is Obesity?

Obesity occurs when your body accumulates and stores excessive amounts of fat. If you consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but do not burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, much of the surplus energy will be stored by the body as fat.


Causes of Obesity 

  • Genetics: You are at high risk of being obese if one or both parents are obese. Genetics affects hormones involved in fat regulation. 
  • Physical Inactivity: Sedentary people burn fewer calories than active people. A survey shows strong correlations between physical inactivity and weight gain in both sexes. 
  • Overeating: Overeating leads to weight gain especially if the diet is high in fat or sugar. Foods high in sugar and fat have high energy density. A study shows that diets high in fat contribute to weight gain. 
  • Frequency of Eating: The relationship between frequency of eating and weight is somewhat controversial. There is information about obese people eating less often than people of normal weight. Experts have observed that people who eat small meals four or five times daily have lower cholesterol levels and more stable blood sugar than people who eat less frequently. 
  • Medications: Medications linked with weight gain include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diabetes medications, certain hormones, and corticosteroids. The reason for the weight gain with the medications differs for each medication. If this is a concern, you should discuss it with your physician rather than discontinuing the medication, as this could have serious effects
  • Psychological Factors: For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Several people eat too much in response to emotions such as sadness, boredom, anger, or stress. While most obese people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.
  • Diseases: Diseases such as insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome are also contributors to obesity. 
  • Social Issues: There is a link between social issues and obesity. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity.

Complications of Obesity

Obese people are more likely to develop several potentially serious health problems such as:

Obesity Treatment 

The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. This improves overall health and lowers the risk of developing complications related to obesity.

Weight-loss medication is used along with diet, exercise, and behavior changes. Before selecting a medication, your doctor will consider your health history. Recommended weight loss medication may include:

  • Orlistat – this is prescribed to people suffering from obesity. Orlistat works by preventing the lipases that are needed to break down the fatty acids, thereby inhibiting the absorption of fatty acids in the diet. 

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