The Causes of Obesity

Running head: OBESITY 1
The Causes of Obesity
Obesity is a condition whereby an individual has too much fat in his or her body. People
suffering from obesity tend to be at a higher risk of suffering from sleep apnea, hypertension,
cancer, and type 2 diabetes, among other diseases. A combination of such ailments with obesity
may result in an individual suffering from poor health in the end; in some cases, such poor health
can result in early death or disability. Over the past few decades, obesity has reached epidemic
levels, and with this, there has been an increase in obesity-related diseases. According to
research by Foster-Schubert et al., (2011), the foundation of therapeutic intermediations to
prevent or treat these ailments is weight reduction through lifestyle modification, including
increased physical activities and low-calorie diets alongside behavioral methods to support these
progressions. On an international scale, overweight and obesity are the fifth cause of death
(Soeliman & Azadbakht, 2014). This paper focuses on the main causes of obesity.
Causes of Obesity
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used in determining if a person is overweight or obese. If
the individuals’ BMI is between the range of 25 and 29.9, they are considered overweight; on the
other hand, if the BMI reads 30 and above the individual is considered obese. Over 36.5% of the
United States adult population is obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). At
first glance, the main cause of obesity appears to be straightforward. On the off chance that an
individual consumes more calories than they do burn, then it is expected that they will add some
weight: This is true; however, there are other components that play a significant role in obesity.
The risk factors that play a role in weight gain can be a sophisticated combination of hereditary
factors, metabolic rate, lifestyle, and even socioeconomic factors. Additionally, some
medications, ailments, and disorders have an influence on weight gain. Some of these obesity
causes are explained below;
Genetic factors: Research shows that tendencies toward obesity can be inherited: If one parent is
obese, the chances of their child being obese increases by up to twenty-five percent (Stanford
Health Care, n.d).
Lifestyle choices: A sedentary lifestyle in combination with overeating has an influence on
weight gain. Lifestyle choices can be affected by a change in behavior. If an individual consumes
foods with high-calorie levels such as refined foods, sugary foods, as well as foods with high
cholesterol levels, they have a high chance of gaining weight.
Metabolic factors: Metabolic rate (the rate at which a person burns fat) varies from person to
person. Such a factor plays a significant role in determining the rate at which an individual can
gain weight. Ghrelin, a hormone that regulates a persons’ appetite plays an important role in
controlling hunger even after a meal (Stanford Health Care, n.d).
Unhealthy eating habits, as well as lack of physical activity, can lead to weight gain
among young individuals. Lifestyle choices, as well as genetics, also have an influence on
weight gain. Weight can be reduced by minimizing or avoiding foods with a high energy density,
or those that are small in portion but have a high amount of calories. For instance, one hundred
grams of pasta contains three hundred and fifty calories, while a hundred grams of zucchini
noodles amounts to forty calories. Healthy eating habits combined with a minimum of thirty
minutes of workout each day can significantly aid in weight loss.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, March 5). Adult obesity facts.
Retrieved April 28, 2018, from
Foster-Schubert, K. E., Alfano, C. M., Duggan, C. R., Xiao, L., Campbell, K. L., Kong, A.,
… McTiernan, A. (2011). Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight
and body composition in overweight-to-obese postmenopausal women. Obesity,
20(8), 1628-1638. doi:10.1038/oby.2011.76
Soeliman, F. A., & Azadbakht, L. (2014). Weight loss maintenance: A review on dietary
related strategies. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 19(3), 268-275.
Retrieved from
Stanford Health Care. (n.d.). Obesity. Retrieved April 28, 2018, from

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