Top 10 Contributing Factors to Obesity
Obesity can be defined as a
weight that is greater than 30%
above a favorable target weight.
has often blamed
obesity on the individual. We assume that people are
overweight because of personal failings.
There are a
number of contributing factors to rapid rise in obesity, WF health experts
uncover some major causes.
The Gene, GAD2
: According to the lead researcher
Professor Philippe Froguel (from Imperial College London),
obesity is a complex
problem, which could not be entirely explained by one factor alone. But he
said GAD2 may be responsible for obesity in about one in ten seriously
overweight people. The Imperial study, of more than 1,200 people, identified
two forms of the GAD2 gene. One protected against obesity, the other made it
more likely by stimulating the appetite. Thinner volunteers were found to be
more likely to carry the protective form of the gene, while the other version
was more common in obese people. It seems to stimulate overeating by speeding
up production of a chemical messenger in the brain called GABA, or gamma-amino
butyric acid. When combined with another molecule GABA stimulates us to
eat. However genes
do not always predict future health. Genes and behavior may both be needed for
a person to be overweight. In some cases multiple genes may increase oneís
susceptibility for obesity and require outside factors; such as abundant food
supply or little physical activity.
Snacks can make people obese and high-wired :
A poor dietóto
high-calorie foods that are widely available, low in cost, heavily
promoted, and good tasting. These ingredients produce a predictable,
understandable, and inevitable consequenceóan epidemic of diet-related
diseases. While such foods are fast and convenient they also tend to be high
calories. Choosing many foods
from these areas may contribute to an excessive
calorie intake. Some foods are marketed as healthy,
low fat, or
fat-free, but may contain more calories than the fat containing food they are
designed to replace. It is important to read
food labels for nutritional information and to eat in moderation.
People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and
diabetic than those who usually donít, reported by the American Heart
Association at their 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular
Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. In their study, researchers found
that obesity and insulin resistance syndrome rates were 35 percent to 50
percent lower among people who ate breakfast every day compared to those
who frequently skipped it.
food infiltration in our culture :
You can drive down the road in many communities and pass five or six service
stations, fast food
restaurants, and convenience stores in less than a mile. There are fast food
restaurants inside some schools. Malls have food courts. Fast foods are showing
up on airline flights and in airports. Itís basically everywhere. The food
industry spends $30 Billion annually to convince people to eat their products.
The problem, is that the industry makes its most if its money through selling
highly processed foods.
of physical activity : The remote control, video games, the automobile,
television, and to some extent the computer are all part of the environment
which discourage people from being physically active. Some people live in
neighborhoods where they canít go outside because walking or
running is too
dangerous, and they donít have money to join
clubs. Plus, given that
weíre becoming fatter as a society, it becomes less appealing to exercise. Our
bodies need calories for daily functions such as breathing, digestion, and daily
Weight gain occurs when calories consumed exceed this need.
Physical activity plays a key role in energy balance because it uses up
has tremendous social meaning
: People can feel like they arenít part of
the group if they donít eat like everybody else does. Food also has personal
meaning. It can be a personís best friend, and it allows some people to numb out
from a difficult world. Some people look forward during the day to being alone
with their food in the evening. It represents comfort, soothing, and nurturance
that may not come from other people.
: When the number of calories consumed is
not equal to the number of calories used. Energy Balance is like a scale. When
calories consumed are greater than calories used
Calories Consumed > Calories Used
Calories Consumed < Calories Used
No Weight Change:
Calories Consumed = Calories Used
Portion sizes : People may be eating more during a meal or snack because of larger
portion sizes. This results in increased calorie consumption. If the body
does not burn off the extra calories consumed from larger portions, fast food,
or soft drinks, weight gain can occur. How do portions today compare to portions
sizes 20 years ago? The National Institutes of
Health have developed a
Web site with an
interactive quiz to inform people on the increasing portion sizes.
and Drugs : Some illnesses may lead to obesity or weight gain. These may include
depression and polycystic ovary syndrome. Drugs such as steroids and some
antidepressants may also cause weight gain. Also, drugs such as steroids and
some antidepressants may cause weight gain. A doctor is the best source to tell
you whether illnesses, medications, or psychological factors are contributing to
weight gain or making
Emotions : Many people eat in response to
negative emotions such as boredom, sadness,
or anger. It has been observed that women with the most severe
binge eating problems are also likely to have symptoms of
depression and low
self-esteem. These women may have more
weight and keeping it
off than people without
binge eating problems. During a binge eating episode, people eat large
amounts of food and feel that they cannot control how much they are eating.
menarche : Early menarche
is clearly associated with degree of overweight, with a twofold
increase in rate of early menarche associated with BMI greater than
the 85th percentile. Effects of age at menarche and race/ethnicity on
overweight were estimated via logistic regression, after adjustment
for socio-demographic characteristics, in a sample of 6507 Hispanic,
Black, White, and Asian American girls who participated in wave 2 of
the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The Results indicated
that, Overweight prevalence rates were significantly higher in early
maturing adolescents of all racial/ethnic groups but highest (57.5%)
among early maturing Black girls. Early maturation nearly doubled the
odds of being overweight (body mass index at or above the 85th
Data from the Third National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1988 through 1991 showed that 23.4
percent of Mexican-American female adolescents aged 12 to 17 years were
you cannot change your genetic makeup, you can change your
eating habits and
levels of activity. Try these techniques that have helped some people
weight and keep it off:
choose more nutritious meals that are lower in fat.
recognize and control environmental cues (like inviting smells) that make you
want to eat when you're not
What was really needed is a
campaign to educate our minds - and stomachs.
We need urgent action. The time for action is NOW.
The solution? It sounds simple: "eat properly and exercise".
Dated 27 September 2012