Obesity Awareness Week: What Causes Weight Gain and Obesity?
Obesity is one of the most common health problems in the world and has been connected with numerous concerns, from high blood sugar to high blood pressure. Collectively, these related conditions are known as metabolic syndrome, and people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Much research has been carried out over the last few decades into the causes of obesity and the different ways that it can be prevented and treated. In light of obesity awareness week, we are taking a look at what causes weight gain and obesity, and how you can overcome it.
What is the definition of obesity?
The definition of obesity refers to someone who is very overweight. Obesity is a common global problem, with one in four adults in the UK alone affected.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most widely used method to check if someone is overweight; it’s a measure of whether you’re at a healthy weight for your height. A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight, while 25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight.
If you have a BMI of between 30 and 39.9, you will be classed as obese. And, if you score over 40, you are considered to be severely obese. However, while BMI is useful in indicating whether you’re at a healthy weight, it’s important to note that it doesn’t take into account other factors such as muscle percentage.
With this in mind, a better measure of excess fat is waist size – men who are obese generally have a waist size of 40 inches or more, while obese women have a waist of 35 inches or more.
What causes weight gain?
Many people believe that those who are overweight simply don’t have the willpower to get healthy, but that isn’t true in the majority of cases. In fact, what causes obesity can vary from genetics right through to medical problems.
The following pointers are the main causes of weight gain, which can lead to obesity:
Genetics play a huge role in obesity and children of obese parents are much more likely to become obese themselves. That’s not to say that obesity is completely predetermined and out of your control, as diet and exercise can still influence your individual weight. But genetic components do affect how susceptible you are to gaining, and holding on to, weight.
Pharmaceutical drugs like antidepressants and diabetes medication cite weight gain as one of the side effects. These medications don’t impact your willpower, but they do affect the functioning of your brain, which reduces your metabolic rate and increases your appetite.
Fatty foods stimulate reward centres in the brain, leading to an addictive sensation. In fact, these foods have been compared to drugs like cocaine, alcohol and nicotine in terms of how addictive they are.
Addiction is complex and difficult for many people to overcome, as it alters the chemistry of the brain, making it hard to stop. People who are addicted to food lose control of their eating habits and become more likely to gain weight as a result.
The impact sugar has on our health is not new news. One of the ways it harms us is by changing the hormones and biochemistry in our bodies, altering insulin resistance and increasing the chance of gaining weight.
A lack of understanding about health and nutrition is largely to blame for the levels of obesity around the world. From inaccurate information online to magazines and newspapers; many sources quickly become misinterpreted or taken out of context. Food companies also play a role in this, as do diet brands.
What is the best way to lose weight?
The best way to lose weight is by combining a few different lifestyle changes. Firstly, assess your diet and take note of the types of food you are eating; could you switch to healthier alternatives? Make sure you eat three meals a day too - many people believe that skipping breakfast will be beneficial to weight loss, but the opposite is true, and it means you miss out on the necessary nutrients to kickstart your day.
Getting more active is also key to successful weight loss; start walking more when possible or join a fitness class at your local gym.
To give your weight loss journey an extra boost, you can even take effective weight loss pills. Xenical weight loss pills aim to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during digestion. They are an effective weight loss treatment when used alongside a balanced diet and exercise regime, improving your cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of insulin.
Obesity is a global epidemic that poses a significant concern for the health of millions of people. Your weight loss journey will require a lot of determination, but by combining weight loss pills, meal planning and exercise, you’ll begin to notice significant differences to your body image. You’ll even benefit from reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
Get in touch with our experts on 0208 123 0703 for more information regarding effective weight loss.