Overweight or obesity can be described as a very unhealthy accumulation of body fats. The excessive disposition of body fat leads to many health complications and even reduce the life expectancy of affected people. Obesity is measured in terms of body mass index which is obtained by dividing your weight by the square of your height. A body mass index in the range of 25-30 Kg/m2 is considered overweight, but if your BMI is more than 30 Kg/m2, it indicates that you are suffering from obesity.
Clinical trials and scientific studies have confirmed that obesity is linked to various health issues like osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obstructive sleep apnea and certain types of cancer. In 2013, obesity has been classified as a disease.
Obesity is mainly caused by excessive intake of food energy, sedentary lifestyle, genetic or endocrine disorders, medication side effects, psychological issues or any combination of these factors. Top five causes of obesity can be described as follows:
Excess Intake of Food: Our body is supposed to store excess food energy as fat. If you are unable to resist your temptation for favorite delicacies, particularly fad-laden fast foods and sugary beverages, there can be no respite from obesity. Overeating has always been associated with wealth and fertility, but nowadays people are getting addicted to highly processed and unhealthy food. People’s eating behavior may be influenced by several factors like emotional stress, availability of food, desire to enjoy some snacks while watching TV, depression, reliance of packaged food and many more.
Sedentary Lifestyle: Innovation and technological advancement have paved the way to modern civilization, but our innovations and technologies are designed to help us lead a comfortable life. Our body is not designed to lead sun an inactive life, but we are using cars, escalators and even remote control devices to cut down our physical activity. Physical activity or exercises are essential to maintain your health and well-being. If you are addicted to computer games or enjoying your favorite past time activity while sitting in the cozy chair and gulping colas, obesity is bound to occur.
Medical Conditions: Disorders in the endocrine system is the third most common cause of obesity. Certain health conditions like Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and depression may cause obesity. Thyroid is a hormone which is very essential for normal metabolism. Any deficiency of this hormone slows down the metabolism and people start accumulating fat.
In Cushing syndrome, excess amounts of cortisol is produced which leads to fat deposition. It is well-known that certain weight-gain occurs during the pregnancy. Avoiding breastfeeding or leading inactive lifestyle after delivery can make you obese. Certain medications, particularly steroids, anti-hypertensive, anti-depressants, antipsychotics and anti- seizure drugs are known to cause weight gain.
Psychological Distress: When people suffer from any deep rooted emotional trauma, they try to release their emotional stress by overeating. Many people overeat when they confuse the psychological void with hunger. Several research studies and clinical trials have established that fact that psychological problems lead to eating disorders. Depression is a well-known psychological problem when people indulge in over eating.
Inherited Genes: If your parents are obese, you are more likely to develop obesity. Genetic susceptibility is another very important cause of obesity. Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome are classic examples of genetic susceptibility, but behavioral aspects may be more important than genes. There are 56 different genes that relate to obesity phenotypes.