Causes of Obesity
It is easy to blame a weight problem on genetics. Twin studies and adoption studies have shown that there is a strong genetic component. Twins separated at birth and raised in different environments will have very similar body compositions. Adoption studies also show that environment is not everything. Adopted children will maintain weight much closer to their biological parents than their adopted parents.
Billions of dollar spent on food advertising has put many developed countries into the obesity culture. Sugar, a main obesity driver, is used to celebrate almost everything. We should have cake for a birthday, candy for Hallowen, chocolates for Valentines Day, and soda and chips for parties. It sure is fun until the body fat starts creeping up. The culture makes it difficult to even say no to sugar and fat. Imagine telling your five year old that they don't need to go trick or treating for candy or a cake on their birthday.
People used to work more laboriously. Sedentary jobs, television, the suburbs, game stations, and the internet all drive people towards a sedentary lifestyle. People don't work physically as much anymore and then they go home to sedentary entertainment.
The surgeon general and just about every organization concerned about fitness recommend that people get 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. The sad part is that most people aren't even getting this much. People tend to work long hours and don't want to spend their little bit of spare time exercising.
If you want to be or stay thin, it is crucial that you find ways to permanently increase your physical activities. Most studies show that permanent physical activity changes are vital to keeping weight off.
There is a strong link between depression and obesity. Which came first? It is most likely that depression follows obesity due to social stigmas. Once people become depressed it is much harder for them to gain control. People get in a cycle of binging. They may eat sugar and caffeine to get a high, crash, and start the process over and over again. The sweet taste of sugar and the addictive nature of caffeine all work together to help keep the obese person a drug user for life. It takes a great deal of determination or pain to get someone to make the commitment to stop using sugar and caffeine.
Food is also something that is used to celebrate. We may feel psychologically closer to family and friends when eating particular foods. Since depression is associated with obesity, it makes sense that food is used a way to gain intimacy (from passed experiences) and pleasure. The only way for the obese individual to gain positive effects is to go towards the suffering and embrace it. Avoidance is the driver of the downward cycling.
Higher levels of estrogen are linked to higher fat percentages. In addition, higher muscle mass will burn more energy at rest than a lower percentage of muscle. Women are more likely to be obese because of their hormone and muscle mass difference; compared with men.
As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass will decrease the persons metabolism. In addition, with age, the body tends to slow down the metabolism. This means that people should cut back on their food intake as they get older. If people don't curb food consumption as the age, they will gain weight. This may be why so many middle aged and older people are obese and the young tend to be lean.
Sugar and Fat
The sweet taste of things makes us tend to overeat. Products that are high in fat are dense in calories and also make it easier to overeat. The obese consume way too much sugar and fat.
Nature has a way of protecting the organism. When animals get stressed out it is usually because they are being hunted or can't find food. In either case, it is important for their body to hold onto fat reserves as long as possible.
For humans, stress will similarly promote weight gain. The hormone Cortisol is known to release under stressful conditions and to promote wieght gain.
Sleepiness is a symptom of obesity. Likewise, not getting enough sleep is proven to be a contributor to obesity. Researchers have found that lean people sleep more. In the US, people consistently get less sleep than they need and less than they got a decade ago. People are finding ways to get by on less and less sleep.
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ on the neck. It secretes hormones to regulate the body metabolism. In hypothyroidism, everything slows down. You may feel tired or sluggish. People that have hypothyroidism tend to become overweight because their metabolism is slowed down. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, there are over 27 million people with thyroid problems and over half are undiagnosed.
Cushing's syndromeCushing's syndrome is caused by the adrenal glands producing an excess amount of the hormone Cortisol. Cortisol has been proven to promote the disposition of fat sedimentation of the adipose tissue.
There are many causes of obesity that are not included here. There are many medical causes, many societal causes, and many genetic causes. The main point to consider is that you will be healthier without obesity. You will also be happier, without obesity, because depression is linked to it.