What Are The Causes Of Obesity Essay

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Causes of Obesity

Obesity continues to become a problem in the United States, and it is an issue that must be addressed as a society as a whole. Obesity affects the individual carrying the extra weight around, of course, but it also affects society as it is left up to the government and other health care facilities to address these issues and treat them, thus costing tax payers and the government money. Currently there are talks underway of how to combat obesity and its every increasing rising, and one of the ways to help combat the disease is to look at the causes of obesity.

Causes of Obesity

There are many things that can cause a person to become overweight and obese. Some of those causes include:

  • Genetics: Sometimes a person is pre-deposited to be bigger than the average person. If your parents were heavy there are good chances that you will be, too.
  • A Lack of Energy: A lack of energy can be caused by eating the wrong foods and not getting the vitamins and nutrients the body depends on to keep it healthy. When this occurs a lack of energy is felt which means less exercise, less physical activity and more weight gain.
  • Emotional Disorders; some people eat to find relief or to help them deal with emotions or other types of feelings. They eat to hide hurt, pain, a low self-esteem and other issues.
  • A Lack of Exercise: As back to the loss of energy, a lack of exercise will also cause an individual to gain weight.
  • Health Conditions: Sometimes it is a health condition that causes the weight to come on so quickly. A doctor can determine what is going on.

What to do about Obesity

The first thing that a person can do is to take control over their life. It is obvious to see when weight is being put on, and it is up to the individual to recognize this and devote themselves to making changes. See a doctor and talk to family and friends for support, and then begin making the changes.


Obesity is caused by a number of different factors. Regardless of what causes obesity it is a serious problem that seems to be increasing on a daily basis. It is up to everyone to put an end to obesity and the extra toll that it is taking on the lives of US citizens and the purses of taxpayers.

During the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that 30 percent of U.S adults 20 years of age and older – approximately 60 million people – are obese. Similarly, the obesity rate among young people has more than tripled since 1980. Sixteen percent (over 9 million young people) of children and teens aged from 6 to 19 years are considered overweight. Eating more and exercising less are blamed for this. However, the problem is not that simple. Much thorough research shows that weight gaining and obesity are the effect of what are called natural causes, medical causes, and habitual causes. The interaction of all the above mentioned results in weight gaining and a typical common multifactorial disease that people call obesity.
Lately, scientists, in their researches, named natural factors as one of very important causes contributing to obesity. These natural causes are consisting of genetics, age and gender. The fact that children whose parents are obese also tend to be overweight confirms that heredity really plays a key role in obesity. Truly, a family history of obesity accounts for 25-40% of the causality of obesity. Scientists proved that the most common forms of obesity are polygentic, an inheritable character that is controlled, related to, or determined by several genes at once. In one experiment, they used two general approaches in the search for genes underlying common polygenic obesity in humans. The first approach focuses on selected genes having some plausible role in obesity on the basis of their known or presumed biological role. This approach yielded putative susceptibility genes with only small or uncertain effects. The second approach attempts to map genes purely by position and requires no presumptions on the function of genes. Genome-wide scans identify chromosomal regions showing linkage with obesity in large collections of nuclear families. Genome-wide scans in different ethnic populations have localized major obesity loci on chromosomes 2, 5, 10, 11 and 20. Susceptibility gene(s) for obesity may be located in the intervals of linkage. What is more, some experiments show that age influences obesity. Naturally, the human body tends to lose muscle and gain fat with age. This change results in a greater percentage of fat in the body. Because a fat cell requires lesser energy for its living process, fat increase will lead to the metabolic slowdown. Excessive energy, as a result, will be converted to fat. Consequently, old people are packing in pounds. The result from another separate research comes to a conclusion that gender holds an important part in weight gaining and obesity. More frequently, men require more energy for their activity than women do. The reason is that muscles – the main tissue in men’s bodies – are more active than fat cells – the most part in women bodies. Even in rest, men need from 10 to 20 percent more calories than other gender. This helps to explain why women are more likely to be obese. Concisely, genetics, age and gender are the natural causes contributing to obesity. These causes engender weight gaining and obesity through heredity mechanism, metabolic process, and calorie requirement based on gender.
The second cause of obesity pinpointed is medical problems which include diseases, metabolic disorders, and hormonal imbalance. An example of these causes is Cushing’s disease – an endocrine disorder caused by excessive levels of the endogenous corticosteroid hormone. Most people suffering from this have upper body obesity, rounded face, increased fat around the neck. In the same way, people with low thyroid function, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other hormonal imbalance end up with heavy bodies. Finally, some medications can also be a cause of obesity. Steroid medications are common culprits increasing the amount of bodily fluid. Other migraine medications are also known to cause weight gain. Antidepressants and other mood altering medications sometimes used for the treatment of stress, anxiety and depression can also cause weight gaining. As such, medical problems are the real linkage for obesity. It affects the weight by increasing body fluid, as a whole, resulting in weight gaining and obesity.
The last and most important factor contributing to obesity is habitual causes. These belong to casual eating habits and physical activity. As a matter of fact, people learn to eat and cook the way in which they were brought up. Food choice and combinations are learned very early in life. People usually eat when they have reasons other than hunger. Social events and family rituals are often centered with large meals. Getting a new job or birthday is celebrated with big dinner. Even stresses or blues also turn people to foods. In no time, people become greedy eaters without any perception. In addition, today’s culture promotes eating habits that contribute to obesity. People may serve large portions and foods that are most readily available instead of choosing foods that are most nutritious. Furthermore, food is often used as a reward in this country. For example, parents often give their kids some treats such as sweets, chocolates or cake if they have good performances. Many people express their gratitude to somebody by buying them dinner. In common with such eating habits, physical inactivity is equal effect in weight gaining and obesity. Thus, despite all the benefits of being physically active, most Americans are sedentary. Technology has made people much lazier by creating many time and labor saving products such as cars, elevators, computers, dishwashers, and televisions. People are willing to drive dozen of rounds to find a near parking place than walk just a relatively short distance to the doors. They also drive their cars in distances that walking or riding is accessible. As a result, these have reduced the overall amount of energy required for daily lives. Excessive energy, as being said above, will be accumulated in a form of fat. According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, in 2000 more than 26% of adults reported no leisure time physical activity. In brief excessive energy resulting from casual eating habits plus physical inactivity is the most important cause in obesity.
The very imbalance has accelerated body weights well in excess. As has been said, obesity is not simple as eating more and exercising less. In fact, it is the consequence of many causes, among which are natural causes such as genetics, age and gender, medical causes such as disease, metabolic disorder, or habitual causes such as eating habit and physical inactivity. Obesity, in other word, is the effect of internal and external impacts which affect or control people’s weight through the processes of transforming extra energy into fat, or holding bodily fluid. Consequently, people with such above mentioned identify themselves with common oversized bodies.

Filed Under: Health, Social Issues

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