The five main causes are outlined below :
- Poor Eating Habits
Your eating habits can affect your weight. Failure to eat a balanced diet, eating fast-food and fatty snacks between meals can all cause obesity. Drinking too many high-calorie soft drinks can also contribute to obesity. When you eat the same amount of food that your body needs, your weight stays the same. If you get more energy from your food than you need, the body stores the excess calories as fat. If your body never uses the extra calories, you will gain weight.
- Lack of Exercise
Failure to exercise is a contributing factor in the development of obesity. Individuals who are overweight find it harder and harder to exercise accentuating the problem.
- Family History
If you have family members that are obese, then you have a higher risk for obesity. Many people report being obese since childhood. In 1994, scientists found a gene in mice that was linked to obesity. This gene produces the protein leptin, which contributes to feeling full. Mice with a defective gene eat large amounts of food. When these studies were applied to humans, the results could not be reproduced. It seems unlikely that a single gene can explain obesity. Genetic research does show that a number of metabolic processes don’t work as well in obese people as they do in others. These include how fat is burned and feelings of hunger and fullness.
- Psychological Factors
Many individuals use food as a source of “comfort” for psychological stress. They may eat in times of grief or anxiety. After a diet fails, some people feel a sense of failure and will gain more weight than they lost with the diet. This can result in a vicious cycle of eating and dieting that will only make the person gain more weight.
- Metabolic Disorders
Every person has a slightly different metabolism, meaning that they use calories to a different degree of efficiency. Metabolism refers to how your body gets energy from food. Many factors affect metabolism. For instance, trouble with your thyroid gland can change your metabolism and lead to obesity or morbid obesity. Metabolic disorders are rarely the major cause of obesity, but can contribute to an individual who is otherwise susceptible.