Causes of Obesity
The consumption of more calories than the body uses results to obesity. However, the factors that lead to excessive consumption may include genes and certain environmental influences and learned behavior. The number of calories needed by people varies depending on age, sex, physical activity and the personfs metabolic rate or the rate at which the body burns calories.Obesity tends to run in families. Families do not only share genes but the environment as well. It can be very difficult to separate these two as the manifestation of each is very closely related to the other.There are several genes that influence weight. Because of this, some individuals have a genetic tendency to gain weight and store fat. Not everyone who has such tendency will become obese while some who do not have genetic predisposition at all may become obese. One gene that has been identified is the ob gene which controls the production of leptin. Leptin travels to the brain and acts on the receptors in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that helps regulate the appetite.People who were obese as children are more likely to become obese as adults. This is due to the fact that new fat cells are formed when weight is gained during infancy and early childhood. It is estimated that people who become obese during childhood may have up to 5 times more fat cells than people who maintained a normal weight.Maintaining the recommended weight is almost impossible in an environment that does no encourage consumption of nutritious food in reasonable portions and regular physical activity. A healthy environment can be created at home, at school, at work or wherever a person spends considerable time in. By identifying and consciously avoiding high-risk situations in the environment, weight control efforts will certainly bear fruit.A healthy outlook in life assists in the long term weight control goals of any person. Adopting the right behavior will provide the positive force that would lead to consistency and the desired results. Stress can have an effect on weight as some people eat more while others eat less when undergoing stressful phases in their lives.There are drugs used for common disorders that promote weight gain. Hormonal disorders, although rarely, can also cause obesity. Stopping smoking usually results in weight gain but the advantages of stopping far outweigh the expected increase in weight. Weight gain can also be avoided or minimized with the corresponding increase in physical activity. Pregnant women sometimes gain a large amount of weight and fail to lose it afterwards. The problem is further compounded when several children are had close together. Drinking alcohol can also contribute to obesity.
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