Causes and Effects of Obesity


“You are what you eat” is a common saying when it comes to the cause of obesity which means that our weight is determined by the amount eaten. Then, if you want to avoid obesity, you should simply reduce the amount of food consumption. However, obesity is not as easy to deal with as many people think. What follows below is an attempt to provide some information on the main causes and effects of obesity. Hopefully, it will be helpful in your weight controlling.

Causes of Obesity

Eating and exercising habits


An unhealthy eating diets and lack of physical activity are one of the most important causes of obesity. Consuming large meals high in refined grains, red meat, unhealthy fats, and sugary drinks every day may result in excess weight gain. By contrast, a healthy diet which contains emphasizes eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat and fat-free dairy products and drinking water is proved to help prevent obesity.

Doing physical exercises are necessary for the process of burning calories and building muscle, which are required for maintaining a healthy weight. Adults are highly recommended to spend at least 150 minutes doing moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes doing vigorous intensity activity, or a combination of both, along with 2 days of strength training per week.



If one or both of your parents are obese, there is a high chance that you will have to suffer from this health condition. Scientists have shown that Genes decide how the body respond to changes in its environment. According to a study, some variants in several genes cause obesity by increasing hunger and food intake.

Diseases and Drugs

Obesity is clearly a popular type of disease, however, it can be caused by another illnesses such as Cushing’s disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Mental health problems such as stress also leads to obesity. Scientists have found that when adrenal glands are stressed they are more likely to produce hormones that contribute to weight gain. Moreover, certain drugs may lead to weight gain, namely, steroids and some antidepressants.


Health effects


Compared to people with a healthy weight, those who are obese have an increased risk of developing several diseases and health problems:

– All-causes of death (mortality)

– High blood pressure (Hypertension)

– High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides

– Type 2 diabetes

– Coronary heart disease

– Stroke

– Gallbladder disease

– Osteoarthritis

– Sleep apnea and breathing problems

– Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)

– Low quality of life

– Mental health problems such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders

– Body pain and physical functioning difficulty

Economic and societal effects

Every year, both the Government and the citizens spend a large amount of money on dealing with obesity.  There are two types of cost which are associated with the treatment of obesity and obesity-related problems:

Direct costs are those that result from preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services

Indirect costs are defined as “resources forgone as a result of a health condition,” which is related to morbidity and mortality costs including productivity.

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