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8 Common Causes of Obesity

Ms. Noor E Huma

2 min read

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Before we begin to enumerate what leads to obesity, let’s first see what obesity is. According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.”

When your body consumes and conserves more energy than it burns (through physical activity and exercise), the surplus energy accumulates in the body in the form of fat. A diet that is high in fat and sugar is high in energy that needs to be burned out or it will get stored in your body.

Now let’s go through some of the common causes of obesity:

1. Genetics

Obesity often runs in the family. Your genes have an important role to play here. The amount of fat your body stores, burns, and distributes in the body is what you inherit from your parents as well. In fact, you might also take after your parent’s eating habits and metabolism. So, if you have got lesser control over your appetite or feel like whatever you eat turns into fat, then you may have your genes to blame. 

2. Junk Food

Genes, however, cannot be blamed completely. Your eating habits and patterns also catalyze the amount of weight you gain. Consuming fast food, sugary drinks, unhealthy snacking, eating more than your body needs (and burns), frequent eating out, etc. does add pounds to your body as well.

3. Frequency of Food Intake and its Availability

The more you eat, the more inches you gain on your waistline. It is quite arguable but cannot be completely dumped as one of the causes. There are many people who eat a lot with no effect on their weight and others tend to gain much more even when they eat less and little. It has been observed that a routine that comprises multiple small-sized meals throughout the day is better than two to three heavy meals a day.

4. Inactivity

There is no rocket science to decipher this one. Sitting at one place or having almost no physical activity or exercise while consuming food is a surer way to add pounds to your weight.

5. Medication

Certain medications like anti-depressants, anti-seizures, diabetic medicine, steroids, etc. lead to weight gain as a side effect if you aren’t coupling it with a controlled, nutritious diet, and physical activity. Medical problems like arthritis can also hamper physical activity and consequential weight gain.

6. Age

Though obesity can occur at any age, however as you age more, your active lifestyle takes a hit, your metabolism slows down, and you experience hormonal changes. All contribute to weight gain and a slower weight loss if you’re trying to shed pounds.

7. Lack of Sleep and Stress

Weight gain is also affected by your sleeping pattern. If you’re getting too much of sleep or too little, both impact your appetite hence leading to added kilos.

Moreover, people tend to turn to more high-calorie food when under pressure or stressed out.

8. Pregnancy

Some women gain a lot of weight during their pregnancy and find it hard to reduce it once the baby is born. This weight gain consequentially might lead to obesity in women.

None of us want to get fat, be overweight or obese. It diminishes our quality of life and interferes with our daily active life routine. For some, it may lead to other problems like depression, losing self-confidence, social isolation, and more.

If you want to lead a wholesome life, you should put an effort into maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle and understand the real causes behind your weight gain so you may take appropriate action rather than using the above article as an excuse to give up. 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Noor E Huma - Author Ms. Noor E Huma is a highly qualified Nutritionist with a number of certifications including BS (Food & Nutrition) and M.Phil (Food & Nutrition) as well as 3 years of experience in her field and She is also a highly skilled Dietitian.
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