Obesity – Causes and Control

Globally, obesity has reached epidemic proportion with more than 1 billion adults overweight. About 300 million of the overweight individuals are medically obese. The prevalence of obese adult in the United States (US) has increased steadily over the last five decades.

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the point of having a negative impact on the health of the individual. Obesity and being overweight poses a significant risk for diet-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke, diabetes type 2, osteoarthritis, and some specific forms of cancer. It is a serious problem affecting people of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic status.

Understanding the various causes of obesity can help in tackling the adverse effects on the health of an individual. Some of the notable causes of obesity including diet, exercise, environment and socioeconomic factor, eating disorders, societal influence, genetic, medical considerations and other additional factors as discussed in this article.

Causes of Obesity

The rising epidemic of obesity is mainly attributed to a sedentary lifestyle, the aging of the population, dietary habits, genetics, lack of physical activities and medical reasons. The medical reasons may include endocrinological disorders, Cushing’s syndrome, hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome – as well as genetics, syndromic and drug-related obesity.


Researches have shown that there is a significant relationship between genetics and obesity. According to the reports from most researchers, if one’s parent is obese, the chances are high that one will be obese. Also, obesity present at early childhood has a high probability of being present throughout one’s life.

Many scientists concluded that genetics influence one’s BMI. A child with both parents obese has about a 75% chance of becoming obese or overweight as well. Consequently, there is about 25% more likelihood of a child being obese or overweight with one of his or her parents obese.

The weight of the mother at the time of giving birth is an essential factor in the development of childhood obesity as well. Therefore the weight of the mother predicts the weight of the newborn and the weight of the newborn predicts the weight of the child.


One of the causes or factors related to obesity is diet. There has been an increased in the number of efforts put into the health and well-being of an individual with little or no consideration to the teaching of good nutritional practices. There are some specific areas to be looked into more thoroughly when considering good dietary practices. These areas are fats, portion sizes, and sugars.

Some researches have shown how a high-fat diet may lead to one being overweight and consequently leads to obesity. A high-fat diet promotes excessive energy intake by passive overconsumption, fat-induced appetite control signals are too weak or too delayed to prevent excessive energy intake from a fatty meal. This problem is related to the issue of how much food one eats during a sitting. These factors are food deprivation, sleep, prior experiences, calories, and celebratory event and estrogen levels.

The consumption of obesity-promoting fats, food portion size, and sugar-sweetened beverages in the diet of children leading to an increase in caloric consumption. There is a considerable amount of evidence that supports the claim that sugar-sweetened drinks can cause obesity.

Exercise/ Physical Activities

Another major contributing factor in obesity is lack of exercise or physical activities. Latest researches have shown that overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance caused by eating too many calories and not getting exercise or physical activities. Obesity may results if the food intake exceeds physical activities and abnormal large amount of energy is stored within the body.

Too much emphasis may have rested on diet and not enough on one’s physical activities in term of obesity treatment. Increase in sedentary activities increases the rate of individuals with obesity considerably.

Additional Factors

Several factors may contribute to obesity, and these include various forms of pollution, sleep, depression, and sleep. Each of these factors can contribute significantly to obesity.


Studies have revealed that sleep is linked to obesity in several ways including fat reduction and metabolic disturbance. However, lack of sleep may make it difficult to lose fat as well.


Chemical pollutants such as benzo(a) pyrene have been shown to induce obesity. Endocrine distributors, which are capable of manipulating the hormones that control body weight, are thought to be a potential cause of obesity.

Socioeconomic Factors

Due to the affordability of energy-dense diets, people with a lower income tend to consume a high-fat diet. Studies have revealed that diet based on energy-dense foods are less enjoyable, nutrient deficient, and may lead to overeating. The result of this may be obesity.

Control fo Obesity – Medical Surgery

There is various medical surgery that is used to control obesity. Some of these metabolic surgical procedures include sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastric surgery is one of the safest and more popular surgical procedures used in the treatment of obesity, known as a restrictive surgical procedure because it restricts the amount of food the stomach can take. In a sleeve gastrectomy, the left side of the abdomen is removed leaving a smaller sleeve or tube in shape of a banana. However, most of the known procedures have pros and cons to be considered when choosing the best surgical procedure for obesity. It is important a bariatric surgeon reviews your medical history to determine what procedure is best for your help. Start here if you want more information on how you can take control of obesity.

This entry was posted in General Weight Loss and tagged health, obesity. Bookmark the permalink.


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