Obesity occurs when your weight reaches a point where it’s considered unhealthy for your height. The disease affects both the young and the old. Risk factors like physical activity level, sleep habits, and diet can lead to excess weight gain. Other things like genetics and medications may also play a key role in obesity. Your body may store extra energy as fat if you eat high calories but don’t use all the energy. Understanding the common causes of obesity can help you take measures to avoid the negative health consequences. Here are a few you should know about.
Diet dramatically contributes to obesity and overweight problems. Examples of diet habits that can increase your risk of obesity are consuming large amounts of processed foods, overdrinking alcohol, which contains a lot of calories, taking sugary drinks, and eating large portions. Current food trends have made it harder for people to eat healthily, as high-calorie food has become cheaper and more convenient. The heavy promotion of these meals contributes to obesity cases. It would help if you eat less saturated fats and cut down on sugar, alcohol, and other foods that promote weight gain.
Availability of junk food
Food availability is another overlooked factor influencing people’s waistline – it has increased dramatically over the past few centuries. Junk food is especially available everywhere these days. Grocery stores may showcase tempting foods to attract consumers’ attention. People in poorer neighborhoods who cannot buy healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, may resort to junk food. Many convenience stores sell sodas and processed and packaged junk foods, which all lead to obesity risks.
Genetics and environmental influence
Some genes have been linked with causing obesity, affecting an individual’s ability to convert food into energy and store fat. Another way genes can affect people is through their lifestyle choices. Inherited genetic traits such as an insatiable appetite can also make losing weight challenging. In other situations, obesity causes have more to do with environmental factors like lack of access to healthy foods and unhealthy eating habits developed during childhood.
Insulin is an essential hormone that controls energy storage and other bodily functions. It triggers fat cells to store fat and maintain existing ones. One diet that encourages insulin resistance in overweight people is the Western diet. It can elevate insulin levels throughout the body and can cause energy to be stored in fat cells rather than making it available for use. Although insulin’s primary role in obesity is still debatable, multiple studies suggest that high levels of the hormone may play causal roles in obesity development. One strategy to reduce insulin levels is to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and instead boost fiber consumption. This often leads to an automatically reduced calorie intake, resulting in effortless weight loss.
Certain pharmaceutical drugs can cause weight gain due to their side effects. For instance, antidepressants are thought to cause modest weight gain with time. Diabetes medications and antipsychotics are other drugs that have been linked with weight gain. These medications may alter your body and brain function, decreasing metabolic rate and increasing appetite. Some drugs encourage weight gain by reducing how many calories you burn.
Lack of physical activity
Sedentary lifestyles are important factors linked to obesity. Those who perform jobs that involve sitting at a desk for the entire day have a high risk of developing obesity. Such individuals may rely on their cars for everyday commutes, robbing them of time to walk or cycle. Also, people who stay glued to the screens, play games, browse the web, and watch TV without regular exercise risk becoming obese. The truth is inactive people don’t use the energy generated from their food; the extra energy they consume gets stored in the body as fat. The Department of Health and Social Care advises adults to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises weekly. This includes aerobic activities like cycling and walking. If your weight is becoming a concern to you, it may be a good move to consider signing up for weight loss exercise classes with professional trainers who can take you through the correct exercises to burn excess fat.
Fat cells produce leptin, which increases blood levels with higher fat mass. As a result, leptin levels are exceptionally high in individuals with obesity. High leptin levels in healthy people are associated with reduced appetite. Leptin tells your brain how high your fat stores are when it works well. However, the issue is that leptin doesn’t work optimally in many people with obesity. That’s because it doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier for some reason. This condition is known as leptin resistance, and it’s believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity.
Misinformation on nutrition
The digital age has made it easier for people to access information. However, this has unfortunately led to misinformation. People worldwide get exposed to a wealth of false data on health and nutrition. While many reasons account for this, the problem largely depends on where consumers get their information. Many health websites need to distribute more accurate nutrition and weight loss information. Some news outlets misinterpret the results of research studies, misleading people to live their lives based on unreliable theories. Implementing wrong weight loss tips can stagnate your progress. It would help if you learn to choose your sources well and cross-check nutrition information.
People who get less than 6 hours of sleep daily tend to have high body fat. Adults need at least 8 hours of sleep to maintain a healthy weight. Inadequate sleep (insomnia) causes your body to produce too much cortisol and insulin, which can add pounds. Another way insomnia can impact your health is by triggering hunger hormones that can make you crave food, especially those rich in fat and sugar.
Obesity is a serious health concern and medical problem that increases the risks of other diseases, including high blood pressure, hypertension, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and certain cancers. Therefore, take note of these common causes of obesity and weight gain and embrace healthy lifestyles to improve your health.