What is Obesity?
Since we’re going to talk about what causes obesity, it’s only right that we start with its definition. When a person is obese, it means that they have an excessive amount of body fat. But here’s the thing – you cannot say that someone is obese by simply looking at their build.
For doctors to diagnose obesity, they make use of BMI or Body Mass Index. This tool compares a person’s weight to their height to determine if they are in a healthy weight range. Generally, if you have a BMI measurement of 30 and above, the doctor may say that you are obese. Additionally, you can head over to this tool to check what your BMI is.
An important note: People sometimes think that obesity is an aesthetic concern, but in truth, it is a complex disease that increases a person’s risk to various conditions including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
What Causes Obesity?
Diet and lifestyle
Some people become obese because of their diet and lifestyle choices. Doctors emphasize that having a high-calorie diet with very few fruits and vegetables in their meals heightens the risk of obesity. Other factors also include consuming oversized portions and drinking liquid calories in the form of alcohol, sweetened fruit juices, and soft drinks.
Then, there’s the issue of being sedentary. Activities like playing computer games and surfing the internet are called “sedentary activities” because they promote inactivity. Experts say that looking at screens can encourage the intake of more calories, and it does not promote calorie-burning. You see, when you have more screentime, you are less likely to exercise.
But, here’s the thing. Besides diet and lifestyle, other factors can also cause obesity. Let’s enumerate and explain each of them below:
One cause of obesity that you cannot modify is genetics. The genes you inherit will play a role in how much fat your body stores and where your body stores them. Additionally, your genes also contain directions on how well you will be able to burn calories through exercise. Interestingly, genes also affect your appetite.
Also, heredity causes obesity because it dictates if you will develop health conditions that might cause obesity. For instance, some people who have a genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome are at higher risk of obesity. In Prader-Willi Syndrome, the patient may overeat because they have an excessive appetite. This eventually leads to unhealthy weight gain.