Some diseases can cause obesity or weight gain. These include Cushing's disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. Medications such as steroids and some antidepressants can also cause weight gain. Research continues into the role of other factors in energy balance and weight gain, such as chemical exposure and the role of the microbiome.
Here are 10 factors that are major causes of weight gain, obesity and metabolic disease, many of which have nothing to do with willpower. Americans are gaining weight and obesity has become a national health threat. We cannot blame the problem solely on self-control. Why has obesity become such a weighty issue? Lack of physical activity is another important factor related to obesity.
Many people have jobs that involve sitting at a desk for most of the day. They also rely on their cars, rather than walking or cycling. This study concludes that the link between financial stress and obesity could be due to both a behavioural and physiological factor. Behaviourally, stress has been linked to the consumption of highly palatable, high-fat and sweet foods which, in turn, can lead to obesity.
Physiologically, stress has been shown to elevate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity and is followed by metabolic abnormalities that are linked to weight gain. To prevent obesity, future research can study behavioural factors such as dietary intake and their relationship to financial stress and obesity. The authors also observed that the relationship between obesity and financial stress was independent of mental health. Thus, the authors concluded that financial stress might be more detrimental to health compared to other forms of stress, such as stress related to work or marital status, 4 The strength of the study was that the authors used a large number of nationally representative samples with a comparatively high reaction rate; the survey interview was based on a face-to-face interview at home.
The weakness of the study was that it was based on self-reported height and weight; obese or overweight individuals are more likely to underestimate their weight. But the research focused on the relationship between financial stress and obesity, so underestimation of obesity is less likely to affect the results. Future research can examine the effect of financial counselling and education programmes that help the individual with money management, saving and budgeting on reducing obesity and financial stress, 4.Ali, MD, MSCI, is a board-certified preventive cardiologist and lipidologist. Ali is also an award-winning writer.
Opole, MD, PhD, is a board-certified internist and current professor of medicine at the University of Kansas. Obesity is primarily caused by an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. However, there are many risk factors that contribute to the disease. While lifestyle choices, such as poor eating habits and lack of exercise, are the main causes of excess weight, people may be predisposed to obesity due to genetics or certain medical conditions.
Modifiable risk factors are the major contributors to obesity, such as diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Making appropriate lifestyle changes can help reduce the likelihood of obesity. Obesity can develop over time when you take in more calories than you use. This calorie imbalance causes your body to store fat.
The number of calories can influence weight gain, but research shows that other factors can determine how your body uses those calories and therefore how much weight you gain. Not all calories are equal. Certain foods and eating patterns can determine how many calories you are likely to consume. The results revealed that participants on the processed food diet consumed more calories and gained an average of half a kilo compared to those who ate only unprocessed foods, who consumed fewer calories and lost almost half a kilo.
In addition, appetite-suppressing hormones increased more on the unprocessed food diet than on the processed food diet. Limiting processed foods can be an effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of obesity. Excessive consumption of added sugar is a risk factor in the development of long-term obesity. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting added sugar to less than six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons a day for men.
So unless you read the ingredient label carefully, you may not realise how many types of sugar have been added to what you are eating or drinking. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to an increased risk of obesity. From driving to work each day to sitting at a desk for hours on end and then, for many, going home and sitting in front of the TV, many remain sedentary for too long on a daily basis, which is associated with weight gain and obesity. The study authors suggest that too little sleep contributes to weight gain by enhancing hunger signals that lead to overeating.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children aged six to 12 sleep nine to 12 hours a night; adolescents should sleep eight to 10 hours a night. Chronic stress also causes the body to activate stress-related biological pathways and stress hormones, such as cortisol, which makes the body retain extra weight more easily. Chronic stress also causes the body to activate biological pathways related to stress factors and stress hormones, such as cortisol, which makes the body hold on to extra weight more easily. Biological links to obesity, including certain genetic mutations, are continually being investigated and discovered.
Studies have found variants in genes that may contribute to obesity, including those that may influence behaviours or metabolism. Obesity is likely to be caused by interactions between multiple genes, as well as environmental factors. In particular, the FTO gene appears to be associated with effects on appetite, food intake and BMI. Based on the results of the study, the researchers now believe that there may be a link between FTO, binge eating and obesity.
Although many people turn to food in response to emotions such as stress, boredom, sadness or anger, an estimated 3 per cent of the population is diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED). If you think you may be gaining weight due to a medical condition or have noticed weight gain after starting a medication, be sure to discuss your concern with your health care provider. Here are the causes of obesity that can be addressed and usually reversed. There are many known causes of obesity.
If you recognise that any of the above apply to you or a loved one, resolve to take steps to address the cause, keeping in mind that even small adjustments to your lifestyle and daily diet can add up over time. The prospect of better long-term health is worth the commitment. The risk factors for obesity in children are similar to those for adults, such as consumption of high-calorie processed foods, lack of exercise and family history of obesity. Families, communities and schools can help reduce risks by providing healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity.
Get nutrition tips to help facilitate healthy eating. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The goal of this document was to provide a review of the social and physical factors that are associated with obesity, the bulk of the programme focuses on the causes that may lead to obesity. Some of these factors may make it difficult to lose weight or prevent you from regaining the weight you have lost.
Finally, there may be a number of other factors that show a difference in the odds of obesity that were not observed. Future research should explore further the underlying factors that could be important in confirming the relationship between obesity and urban living. This review highlighted significant factors contributing to the public health crisis of obesity in the United States. However, most obesity is likely the result of complex interactions between multiple genes and environmental factors that remain poorly understood (multifactorial obesity).
This condition is called leptin resistance and is believed to be a major factor in the pathogenesis of obesity. A superior understanding of the factors that have contributed to the differences between groups and the underlying factors that initiated the rise in the incidence of obesity in the United States in recent decades is crucial to combat this growing community health calamity. Behavioural, environmental and genetic factors influence overweight and obesity. Further research is needed to provide a growing body of evidence on the impact of social and physical factors on obesity.