The definition of obesity is different depending on what one person reads. But overweight and obesity are two chronic conditions in which your body weight is greater than what is healthy. The body mass index of a normal person ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 whereas, for an obese person, the body mass index will be above 30.

What Are The Causes Of Obesity?

Obesity occurs when you have an excessive accumulation of body fat and this is not only by eating lots of food but also due to several other health-related problems. About two-thirds of adults in the United States are obese. The occurrence of obesity in children has also increased markedly. Not only in the U.S. but obesity has seen to increase swiftly throughout the world.

Is obesity a disease or lifestyle choice?

The American Medical Association and The World Health Organisation consider obesity a chronic disease. Lifestyle diseases are diseases based on our day-to-day lifestyles. And then obesity can be considered a lifestyle disease but not a lifestyle choice.

Causes:

Obesity occurs when you intake more calories than what is needed for your body to survive. The excess calories in the body are stored as fat. In the United States of America, most people eat junk food or processed food that has too much amount of calories in it. And this is why 1 in every 5 Americans is obese. The other causes are as follows

  • Genetic activity: A person is more likely to become obese when one of their parents is overweight. It affects the hormones involved in the regulation of fat. One of the causes is Leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that informs the brain not to eat too much when the body fat increases. So when the body cannot produce enough leptin or when the brain does not get signals, automatically the instructions won’t be sent to the body asking you not to eat much and thus obesity occurs.
  • Physical activity: If you are a person who is having a 9 to 5 job, sitting in an AC room all day, and you do not have any physical activity, chances are high that you will no sooner become an overweight person.
  • Medication: Gaining weight is also a side effect of adherence to certain medications. Some medications which make you obese are as follows
  • Diabetes: Maintaining a healthy weight is as important as taking the medicine in case of diabetes. But here lies the rub. What if the medicines you use become the reason for your weight gain? Sulfonylureas help you reduce diabetes by about 20 percent but at the same time, it can cause weight gain.
  • Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants make you gain weight especially if you are having SSRI i.e.Short for selective serotonin uptake inhibitor. This is a prescribed class of antidepressants. But there is good news as well. Medicines like bupropion used as antidepressants help you not to gain weight.
  • Beta-Blockers: These are medications often prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, angina, and irregular heartbeat. Thie side effect of this medicine includes fatigue, insomnia, and slow heartbeat all of which makes you physically inactive which in turn leads to weight gain.
  • Oral corticosteroids: Medicines like Prednisone and methylprednisolone are prescribed for the treatment of allergies and rheumatoid arthritis. Again having these can make you an overweight person.
  • Psychological factors: A study was conducted to know whether psychological factors affect obesity. Some people eat too much when they are sad, anxious, stressed, or depressed. Eating a lot of food obviously helps you put on your weight which gradually makes you obese.

The question of whether obesity is being a choice or not is like having a conflict between nature vs nurture. It has apparently contradictory results. There are genetic factors and environmental issues that affect obesity, But an immodest eating behavior, such that you make “a pig of yourself” also with no physical activity certainly affects your weight management.

Author

Riley kai is a Registered Dietician who has been passionate about doing things the natural way and helps people with diet plans. She has been a nutritionist editor who has a great passion for nutrition and writing. She has written hundreds of articles on Oprah Magazine, LA Times, and a few more. She explains well through her articles so users get thrilled about reading her tips on healthy eating, Trends, nutrition science, and much more. Her undergraduate certification in Nutrition, Food Science, and Dietetics was completed from the University of Vermont. She earned a Masters’s degree in Nutrition Communication from Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She taught cooking and nutrition classes to health-conscious people while her research at Griffin Hospital, Connecticut as a Lead Research Dietician.

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