Obesity and overweight – causes and consequences

Various factors work in isolation and in combination to lead to obesity. Being overweight is a complex health issue, making you vulnerable to myriad other diseases. Let’s take a more detailed look at the causes of obesity. Body weight is a result of the combination of genes, metabolism, environment, culture, socioeconomic status and behavior. Our behavior and environment play a major role in whether we become overweight or obese. Therefore, these are the areas that need to be dealt with to prevent and treat obesity.

Balancing Calories

An energy imbalance can lead to obesity and overweight. This means that you consume more calories than physical activity can burn. To maintain a healthy body weight, it is important to consume only the number of calories that your body can use up or burn off each day. Weight loss techniques, therefore, focus on balancing the calorie intake. Everything we eat contains calories, regardless of whether it is carbs, fats, proteins or sugars. It is important to learn the calorie count of our daily diet before we are able to balance it.

Genes and Obesity

Research has demonstrated that genetics does determine one’s tendency to be overweight. In fact, genes have been found to lead to obesity in certain disorders, such as Prader-Willi Syndrome and Bardet-Biedly syndrome.

This does not mean, however, that genetics always predetermines our future health. It is the combination of genes and our behavioral choices that lead to being overweight. The genetic predisposition to obesity can be curbed with the right behaviors, in terms of eating and physical activity.

Effect of Environment on Obesity

We tend to make decisions based on our environment or those around us. For instance, you could choose to walk to the store or even to work but you choose to drive because there are no proper sidewalks or because all our colleagues travel to work a particular way. The community we live in, our home and families and our workplace have an effect on our health decisions. This means that these are environments that need to be changes in order to foster better health decisions.

The Impact of Drugs and Disease

Some diseases, such as Cushing’s disease or polycystic ovaries, lead to overweight and obesity. Certain drugs could also lead to weight gain, such as antidepressants and steroid. The best way to understand whether you being overweight or obese is due to the effects of ailments or drugs, consult your doctor.