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Fat, no doubt, is important to store energy and insulate the body. Whatever calories you consume, are used up in different works you do. But if you consume more than you use, it will stored in your body as fat. Thus, result is weight gain. Though, human body can manage well with some extra weight, but beyond a certain limit, body fat can prove risky for the health. Although, eating much and working less, becomes a fantastic combination to invite obesity but certain other factors are also involved in contributing extra calories.

Obesity causes and consequences infographic for overweight people. Diabetes and internal organ disease risk. Unhealthy eating problem. Vector illustration in cartoon style

The potential risk factors but ignored as causes of obesity, include;

Irregular Diet : Fast foods, soft drinks, candies & chocolates have high sugar & calories. Regular consumption of these foods and beverages contributes to excessive weight gain.

Inactivity : Even if someone is not eating much, but remains inactive, has a sheer chance of gaining weight as the calories or energy is not burnt and hence get stored in body in form of fat.

Psychological factors : People suffering from depression, stress or boredom get a habit of overeating to cope with problems. This causes unnecessary consumption of calories and thus, weight gain.

Pregnancy : A pregnant woman gains considerable weight that is necessary too. But sometimes, it becomes tough to lose weight after the delivery, which leads to obesity in women.

Medications : Some antidepressants, like corticosteroids and tricyclic antidepressants can cause weight gain. Few other medications, including high blood pressure and antipsychotic drugs cal also contribute to weight gain.

Genetics : If you have obese parents, then you are more likely to be obese. Your body fat may be in control of your genes but it is not at all guaranteed that you‘ll be obese.

Age : When old age approaches, it makes you less active. Additionally, subsequent decrease in amount of muscle in your body occurs, which leads to reduced metabolism. All these changes also reduce calorie needs. So, if you are not lessening your caloric intake as you age, you have fair chances of gaining weight.

Cigarette smoking : Weight gain has been noticed in smokers when they quit smoking. Reasons may support Nicotine that raised the rate of metabolism in the body. When smokers stop, they burn fewer calories. As smoking also affects taste, food tastes and smells better after quitting smoking. Nonetheless, cigarette smoking is believed to be a greater threat to health than is extra weight.

Medical problems : Though it’s not common, but some medical problems and hormonal imbalances can also be a reason of obesity. These medical causes include low thyroid function, excess production of hormones by the adrenal glands.

Alcohol : Regular intake of alcohol can contribute to obesity as a single regular beer contains not less than 150 calories. Moreover, excessive alcohol intake can stimulate your appetite and make you less likely to control portion sizes.

Obesity FAQ

How weight is measured for being overweight or obese?

Answer: Researchers measure weight according to a person’s height based on a standard called Body Mass Index or BMI. This standard recognizes ranges of weight that increase the possibilities of certain diseases and health problems.

Who is an overweight person?

Answer: When a person’s BMI is between 25 and 29.9, he is overweight.

Who is an obese person?

Answer: When a person has a BMI over 30, he is obese.

How does being overweight or obese affect my health?

Answer: When a person is overweight or obese, he is more vulnerable to certain disease attacks;
Heart disease
Gallbladder problem
Respiratory problem
Cancer in endometrial, breast, and colon
High total cholesterol
High levels of triglycerides

What are the major causes of being overweight or obese?

Answer: The modern life style that we follow has many hidden influence on our day to day routine of life;
We are physically very less active.
We eat too many calories that are available in easy-to-grab packs.
Our environment does not allow physical activity or restricts the opportunities for physical activities.
Genes are to a great extent responsible for deciding how the body will burn calories or store them as fat in the body.

How do I calculate my BMI?

Answer: The BMI formula is an easy way to calculate your body fat, ideal weight and to decide if you are overweight or obese. Divide your weight in Kg with your height in centimeter.
BMI = body mass (Kg) / the square of the height (Cm)
You are underweight if you are < 19.
You have normal weight if you are < 25.
You are overweight if your BMI is 25 – 29.9.
You are obese if your BMI is = > 30.

How can I stop gaining weight or get rid of obesity?

Answer: To control your weight you should seek help from your family doctor or a professional counselor. He will decide the factors that are responsible for your weight gain. There are two ways to lose weight:

Weight loss Programs and
Weight loss Medications.

Weight loss Programs: Weight loss programs are very effective as it offers an overall package combining physical exercise, proper nutrition, healthy food habit, yoga and behavioral counseling.

Weight loss Medications: There are some medical conditions that make weight loss process very difficult for you. As for example, hormonal disorders, cardiovascular disorders, sleep disorder and eating disorder are diseases that will make you obese or overweight. Hormonal disorders like polycystic ovarian disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism etc need medication. Eating disorders like carbohydrate craving syndrome will require medications like Phentermine, Adipex, Ionamin etc.

Again there are certain health condition where the related medications induce weight gain e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, manic-depressive illness, epilepsy, depression, contraception and schizophrenia. Medicines like Hytrin, ardura, Blocadren, Betapace, Tenormin, Aldoment, Progestins which is a component of certain oral contraceptives e.g. Lo/Ovral and Ortho-Tri-Cylcen, Tricyclic antidepressants like Sinequan and Norpramin, Insulins like Diabinese and Depakene, Glucotrol, then Lithium like Eskalith and Lithobid, Neuroleptics named Risperdal and Zyprexa are related medicines that cause weight gain.

Talk to your doctor or counselor if you are taking any of these medications or suffering from physical troubles that induce weight gain. You will need proper treatment of weight loss that will involve medications as well as dieting and exercise.