What Are the Leading Causes Of Obesity? How Can it Be Prevented

Obesity is the most prevalent medical condition that has become a serious health concern all over the world. At least half a billion population on this globe are obese. Today obesity is not limited to developed countries, but in fact this chronic disease has embraced people living in developing countries too.

Obesity is considered serious because varieties of diseases are directly or indirectly associated with obesity; for example diabetes mellitus, heart attack, PCOS in young women, cancer, hypertension etc.

Obesity in simple words can be defined as excess accumulation of fat in the body that can become risk for health. Obesity is caused when you eat more and move less. With advancement of technology, people have started to move less and sit more. If you do not spend the energy that you have consumed from your diet through physical activity and exercise, the surplus of energy is converted into fat. Today environmental and lifestyle factors are acting in synergy that has resulted in obesity epidemic.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is a disease that does not develop overnight. It is a gradual accumulation of fat in the body that is triggered due to variety of reasons. This problem has grown out of proportion because of lifestyle factors, increase in habit of eating fast food, lack of exercise, apart from genetic involvement. Let us understand the causes of obesity at large and how to avoid being obese.

  1. Poor dietary choice plays an important role in development of obesity. Today fast food has become extremely popular. People often skip their regular meal and opt to eat at fast food restaurants. Most of these food items are loaded with calories. These foods usually exceed the amount of calories that is needed by your body for daily metabolic activity. As a result the surplus calories remains unutilized which gets converted into adipose fat. Scientists have found that eating fast food thrice in a week can increase the risk of obesity by at least 30 percent.
  2. Food portion often becomes a reason for obesity. If you are eating large portion than required, that too which contains high calorie food items increases the risk of obesity. You may be encouraged to eat more if than that is needed when you are in company of people who have tendency of eating more.
  3. Food high in sugars and unsaturated fats if eaten frequently and in large amount can lead to overweight.
  4. Lack of physical exercise and physical activity is another major cause for obesity. Today many people have jobs that require desk work. Sitting almost thought the day with very little physical activity increases chances of obesity. Moreover, than walking and cycling which consumes lot of energy, people prefer cars and scooters to reach their offices. Use of elevator instead of climbing stairs although seems to be a meager reason has profound implication in triggering risk of obesity. Watching TV, playing computer games, internet browsing, are activities that rarely require physical movement. Living such a sedentary lifestyle is an important factor for obesity. If you are not active physically your body is not able to utilize the energy that you have consumed in food. The left over extra kilojoules is than stored in the form of fat in your body.
  5. Genetics can play a role in obesity. There are certain people who may have obesity running in their family or it may take longer time to burn calories as their metabolism is slow.

How to prevent obesity:

Prevention of obesity in majority of cases is not difficult. Improving eating habit and increase in physical activity are two vital components in prevention of obesity. Following are some of the ways:

  • Include enough amounts of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
  • Eat foods such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Avoid refined flour, sugar, and food loaded with saturated fats.
  • Use weight machine regularly to keep a track on your weight.
  • Avoid food items that are highly packed with calories. It means avoid foods that even though small in amount have lot of calories in it.
  • Exercise regularly for at least half hour. Walking, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, aerobics etc are effective exercises to burn calories.
  • If you sitting all the while doing desk work, make a habit of standing up and walking for one or two minutes after every one hour.