ADVERTISEMENT
Diet and Nutrition Data Verified

What is Obesity? Why People Become Over-Weight?

Published on Apr 13, 2017 and last reviewed on Dec 24, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

Obesity is a ‘silent epidemic.’ This article tells about how to find out if you are obese and its reasons.

Contents
What is Obesity? Why People Become Over-Weight?

Who Is Considered as an Obese Person?

Many people start a regime to lose weight and find it difficult to lose weight. Obesity is self-perpetuating. To understand this, one has to consider two theories:

  1. Weight gain is a physiological process where the body conserves energy and stores it as fat. The stored fat could be used in times of stress, fast, and famine to tide over the drought periods.

  2. The person who becomes obese has his body cheated by the mind when it sets the normal weight for itself at a higher weight. The body, therefore, consumes accordingly and conserves energy even as you increase the exercise level.

What Causes Obesity?

A person may be obese for more than one reason :

Eating Too Much - Consuming too many calories, especially in heavy meals, is one of the most important reasons. Western diet is especially rich in calories. Those famed burgers and pizzas can do wonders for the weight and cholesterol, raising them by leaps. Interestingly, the most common cause of high calories in the diet is not fat but sugars and carbohydrates. So beware of those cold drinks and fast foods.

Poor Diet - Obesity does not happen in a single day. Choice of poor diet like the following can cause obesity:

An Inactive Lifestyle - Modern life has become quite sedentary. Most people have an average life of waking in the morning. Going to their offices, sitting and doing their scheduled work, coming back home, and relaxing in front of the idiot box or the machine you are sitting in front of right now. Modern convenience devices like washing machines, kitchen appliances, cars, and even remotes lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Buying bread once included walking down the street to the store. Now it is walking to the car, while sometimes it is only dialing a number and getting the bread delivered. So obviously, the less you move, the fewer calories you spend. Lesser activity causes an imbalance of your hormonal levels, especially insulin- thereby causing weight gain and diabetes.

Decreased Sleep - Another bane of modern civic city life. You sleep less and try to work more hours. The odds are that insufficient sleep may increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. And the modern education system only ups the risk of obesity. Less sleep in children also increases their weight. Lack of sleep again causes a hormonal imbalance- increased ghrelin (the hormone ghrelin increases hunger) and decreased leptin (this hormone decreases hunger, thereby increasing the appetite.

Some Foods and Medicines Affect Lipid Metabolism - Fructose, a form of sugar, may raise obesity by its effects on the brain. The satiety centers of the brain, the centers that tell the body that it has eaten enough, are not stimulated. Therefore, a person tends to overeat and gain more calories. Fructose, metabolized by the liver, may lead to hypertension, insulin resistance, and thus, resulting in diabetes and obesity. Many commonly used drugs may cause obesity, but this varies from person to person.

Obesity May Be Genetically Induced - Genes are now being discovered to predispose people to develop obesity. These people may prefer high-calorie diets or simply metabolize the consumed calories slowly.

Smoking - Smoking has an effect on weight. But the results are unreliable. Besides, the dangers it puts on a person outweighs the benefits of weight loss it may cause. Under no circumstances should one consider smoking as a remedy.

Medical Conditions - Hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome are underlying medical conditions that can bring about weight gain.

How Is Obesity Diagnosed?

How Can We Treat Obesity?

  1. Doing dietary changes like reducing the intake of calories, choosing a healthy diet, avoiding sugary foods, fatty foods, carbonated drinks, and high-carbohydrate foods, replacing meals with healthy snack bars or low-calorie shakes, etc., help in reducing weight.

  2. Increasing daily physical activities and doing regular exercises also help in weight management.

  3. Undergoing behavioral therapy to address the psychological factors associated with overeating and joining support groups to gain motivation help in weight loss.

  4. Along with this, the FDA recommends taking weight-loss medications like Liraglutide, Bupropion-Naltrexone, Phentermine-Topiramate, and Orlistat.

  5. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and intragastric balloon are endoscopic procedures that contribute to weight loss.

  6. Adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass surgery are surgical procedures to treat weight loss.

  7. Hydrogels, gastric aspirate, and vagal nerve blockade are other treatments that help in reducing weight in obese patients.

Conclusion:

Obesity is a manageable condition with appropriate lifestyle modifications and dietary changes. Do not stress yourself about being obese, as it further leads to obesity. Also, when someone you know is obese, do not Make fun of them; instead, encourage them to lose weight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last reviewed at:
24 Dec 2021  -  5 min read

RATING

16

Tags:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers


Why am I always hungry and thirsty?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 19 year old female. My height is 5 feet and 6 inches, and my weight is 160. For the past month, I have been experiencing weight loss, increased hunger, increased thirst, and frequently need to go to the bathroom to pee out large amounts. My skin has become dry. I have also lost...  Read Full »

Childhood Obesity : An Ayurvedic Approach to Its Management

Article Overview: Environmental factors, lifestyle preferences, and cultural environment play major roles in increasing childhood obesity worldwide. Read the article to know more.  Read Article


Omendra Pal Singh
Omendra Pal Singh
Ayurveda Specialist

What Is Obesity? Obesity occurs due to the accumulation of excess fat in the body. It is usually caused due to excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. Deposition of excess fat in the body can lead to many harmful effects on health, reduced life expectancy, and i...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Weight Loss or Hormonal Imbalance?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.