5 Causes of Obesity - My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Understanding Obesity


    Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive fat that can negatively effect a person’s health. Risk factors for health include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    Obesity has become a worldwide problem in the last decade. In 2005, 1.6 billion adults were overweight with 400 million of those adults meeting the criteria for obesity. The projected number for overweight adults by 2015 is 2.3 billion with 700 million of those people meeting the criteria for obesity. 

    A person is considered to be obese if he or she is 20% or more above normal weight or when his or her body mass index is over 30. A person is considered morbidly obese if he or she is  50% to 100% over normal weight, more than 100 pounds over normal weight or has a body mass index of over 40.

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    Causes of Obesity

    A person gains weight when more calories are consumed than the body will use. Excess calories are converted to fat.

    But that is more an explanation as to how weight is gained than as to why. Obesity has many causes including age, gender, genetics, psychological profile, and environmental influences although risk factors may be the more appropriate definition. For instance, if someone has a predisposition for obesity then that person is more likely to become obese although such a predisposition does not guarantee that it will happen. A predisposition is simply a risk factor.

    Do You Have Any of these Risk Factors for Obesity?


    1. Genetic Factors

    Obesity often runs in families, leading to the supposition that that there may be genetic influences. The body’s ability to capture and use energy is a complex regulation and genetics must be involved. It should also be kept in mind that families may be sharing diets and lifestyles that contribute to obesity.

    If family members eat a good deal of high-fat foods or snack foods, frequently eat at unscheduled times, and skip meals, the chances of you doing the same are good. In addition, if family members are not physically active then you will probably not be physically active either.

    2. Emotional Factors

    Emotional  influences such as stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute to obesity. Many people use food to comfort themselves when they are feeling poor emotionally. Comfort foods are seldom healthy choices and usually promote weight gain.

    3. Gender

    As a general rule, men have more muscle than women. Muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue. Therefore, men use more calories than women, even when at rest.

    4. Social Factors

    Some social factors have also been linked to obesity. A lower income restricts the food types that can be purchased, and poorer people often purchase high-calorie, processed foods because they are less expensive and easier to prepare.

    5. Lack of Sleep

    Poor sleeping habits can contribute to obesity. A person who gets under seven hours of sleep per night can experience hormonal changes that increase appetite. Cravings for foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates can also occur.

  • References:

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    emedicinehealth - http://www.emedicinehealth.com/obesity/page2_em.htm -
    accessed 8/25/12
    eMedTV - http://weight-loss.emedtv.com/obesity/causes-of-obesity.html - accessed 8/25/12
    Mayo Clinic - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes -
    Accessed 8/25/12
    News Medical - http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Obesity.aspx - accessed 8/25/12
    WebMD - http://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-obesity - accessed 8/25/12



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    My Story... 


    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003, and since that time my journey from processed food junkie to healthy living so as to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management. Whether you are planning or have had bariatric surgery, or you want to lose weight through non-surgical means, my shareposts along the way will help you to navigate your journey successfully.

Published On: September 12, 2012