The guy on Scale Obesity and overweight affect millions of people around the world. Only a few years ago, reports from the World Health Organization stated that 11 percent of all adults in the world were obese.
The same reports stated that 24 percent of all adults were overweight at that time. Currently, over 69 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese or overweight.
Obesity costs U.S. citizens approximately $147 billion in medical bills per year.
Since our bodies store excess calories as fat, we gain weight if we consume more calories than we burn. The reasons for obesity vary from person to person.
Obesity can be caused by a combination of lifestyle, medical and genetic factors. The most common causes are as follows:
A Sedentary Lifestyle
Burgert's sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes of obesity and extra weight. Every person has a metabolic rate and a number of calories that he or she needs to ingest on a daily basis to maintain activities and body weight.
If a person ingests too many calories without balanced daily activities and exercise, then the extra calories will be transformed into fat for storage.
One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, each surplus of 3,500 calories will add one pound of body weight.
Fattening Foods and Sweetened Drinks
FrenchFriesThe constant consumption of fattening fast foods and sweetened beverages can cause a person to gain weight at a rapid pace.
The fast food industry offers easy access to high-energy foods that lack nutrients. As served in a typical fast food restaurant, a medium-size French fries contain 350 calories, a medium coke carries 210 calories, and a greasy burger easily packs in 550 to 650 calories.
Without balanced physical activities, frequent fast food consumption promises a rapid weight increase.
Some people tend to gain weight faster and lose it more slowly than others. More than 40 sites in the human genome have already been linked to obesity.
Gene mutations can change the way the body metabolizes food or increase the appetite for high-fat foods.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are associated with obesity.
A lack of sleep changes the secretion of hormones and subsequently metabolism in the body. Studies show that people who haven’t had enough sleep prefer foods that contain high fat and high sugar.
Medications Several medications are culprits for causing rapid weight gain and obesity. Some mental health medications can change the chemical balances in the brain and trick the person into believing that he or she is hungry and overeating.
Other medicine groups that may have the same effects are diabetes medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and medications for neurological disorders. Additionally, birth control pills can cause weight gain in some women.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a condition that causes a person to uncontrollably eat large amounts of food.
Although BED also occurs in patients of fit body weight, it is most commonly found in overweight and obese individuals.
In a laboratory study completed in 2003, obese patients with BED were reported to eat much more food than obese patients without BED.
A few medical illnesses have been associated with obesity. A depressed person may have a tendency to eat chocolates and fattening foods because these foods promote shifts in brain chemicals such as serotonin, and can temporarily relieve depression symptoms.
SickBoyThe hyperthyroidism condition prevents the body from producing enough hormones to stimulate metabolism. A slower metabolism leads to extra fat storage and weight gain in these patients.
Cushing's syndrome is a condition in which a person produces too much of the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol can create a surplus of fat in areas such as the face, stomach, and back.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is an illness, in which cysts form on a woman’s ovary. A high percentage of women who have this syndrome are obese.
Brain tumors have also been associated with obesity. Due to miscommunications between the brain and the rest of the body, a person with a brain tumor may overeat but not metabolize food correctly.
Insulinoma is a condition in which tumors grow in the pancreas, causing the pancreas to secrete a large amount of the hormone insulin. High levels of insulin increase the transformation of sugar into fat, resulting in weight gain.