Obesity is one of the leading health problems in the world. It is generally caused by eating too much with little or no exercise. If a person consumes too much foods especially sugars and fats and fails to burn the excess energy though physical activity and exercise, the surplus energy is stored as fat. Besides this, other factors that contribute to obesity include:
Genetics and family lifestyle
Genes have a strong influence of a person’s weight. If obesity and overweight runs in a family, your chances of being obese is much greater. Genes also affects where the extra fat is stored in the body as well as the amount of fat stored in the body.
Since families share physical activity and food habits, there is a link between the environment and genes. This means that children are more likely to adopt the habits of their parents. For example, a child to obese parents who eat high calories foods is more likely to also suffer from obesity. But if the parents adopt healthy eating habits and exercise, the chances of the child to become obese significantly reduces.
An inactive lifestyle
Most people today are not physically active which increases the risk of obesity since they do not burn the calories consumed from food and drinks. An inactive lifestyle also increases the risk of other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer among others.
Some medical problems such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism can cause obesity.
Certain medications such as antidepressants, corticosteroids and seizure drugs contribute to obesity. These medicines increases appetite, slows the rate at which the body burns calories as well makes the body to hold extra water. All these factors lead to obesity.
Pregnant women tend to gain more weight so as to support the growth and development of their babies. After delivery, shedding off the extra weight maybe difficult which leads to obesity especially after several pregnancies.
Lack of sleep
Sleep maintains the balance of hormones that make you feel full (leptin) or hungry (ghrelin). Failure to get sufficient sleep increases the level of ghrelin and lowers the level of leptin which makes you feel hungry.
People who fail to sleep also seem to crave for foods with high carbohydrates and calories which increases the risk of obesity.