What Are the Causes of Obesity?

Obesity may be the caused by one or more of the following factors:

1. Genetic Factors

Obesity tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. Yet families also share diet and lifestyle habits that may also contribute to obesity. Separating these from purely genetic factors is not easy.

2. Environmental Factors

Environment also strongly influences obesity. This includes lifestyle behavior such as what a person eats and his or her level of physical activity.

3. Psychological Factors

Psychological factors also influence eating habits. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger.

Most overweight people have no more psychological problems than people of average weight. Even so, up to 10 percent of people who are mildly obese and try to lose weight on their own or through commercial weight loss programs have binge eating disorder. This disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese.

4. Other Causes of Obesity

Some illnesses can lead to obesity or a tendency to gain weight. These include hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, depression, and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. Also, drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause weight gain.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you believe that you are suffering from obesity and would like to reduce your weight and fat, discuss your options with your doctor.


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