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Causes of Obesity and Risk Factors

Causes of Obesity

There are many causes that directly and indirectly contribute to obesity. Behavior, environment and genetics are among the main contributors to obesity. The Centers for Disease Control has identified these three as the main causes to the complexity of the obesity epidemic.

Behavior
In today’s fast-paced environment, it is easy to adopt unhealthy behaviors. Behavior, in the case of obesity, relates to food choices, amount of physical activity you get and the effort to maintain your health.

Population are consuming more calories on average than in past decades. The increase in calories has also decreased the nutrients consumed that are needed for a healthy diet. This behavioral problem also relates to the increase in portion sizes at home and when dining out.

While Population are consuming more calories, they are not expending them with enough physical activity. Physical activity is an important element in modifying and shaping behaviors. The influence of television, computers and other technologies discourage physical activity and add to the problem of obesity in our society.

Environment
Environment plays a key role in shaping an individual’s habits and lifestyle. There are many environmental influences that can impact your health decisions. Today’s society has developed a more sedentary lifestyle. Walking has been replaced by driving cars, physical activity has been replaced by technology and nutrition has been overcome by convenience foods.

Genetics
Science shows that genetics play a role in obesity. Genes can cause certain disorders which result in obesity. However, not all individuals who are predisposed to obesity become obese. Research is currently underway to determine which genes contribute most to obesity.

Risks Associated with Obesity
There are more than 40 medical conditions that are associated with obesity. Individuals who are obese are at risk of developing one or more of these serious medical conditions. The most prevalent obesity-related diseases include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

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