The Causes or Risk Factors That Lead to Obesity

Obesity is a condition that does not just happen while you are asleep; it develops slowly from a poor diet and an inactive lifestyle. It comes with several other diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and much more which account for millions of deaths annually. With obesity statistic worryingly growing in various parts of the world, the need for obesity assistance is paramount.

Although there are known treatments, doctors highly recommend obesity prevention. For you to effectively take the preventative measures, you should first identify its causes. Here are 12 leading contributing factors that cause obesity.

Unhealthy diet


Diets that are loaded with calories, fat, lack of vegetables and fruits, characterized by fast foods and high-calorie beverages are primary contributors to increase weight.

Traditional diets have been quickly replaced by others with a higher energy density, which means more fat, primarily of animal origin, and added sugar in food, coupled with a decreased intake of complex carbohydrates and fiber.

Often, the act of eating becomes a value and a sense of emotional gratification independent of our calorie needs. We associate, subliminally, eating and drinking with positive moods, and so when we do not feel well we compensate by eating or drinking, although we have no appetite.

These dietary changes combined with changes in behavior that entail reduced physical activity at work and during leisure time. The end result is a chronically positive energy balance, which is accumulated year after year, as fat.

Physical Inactivity

If you are inactive, you won’t be able to burn calories effectively. A sedentary lifestyle can result to you taking in more calories per day than your body burns during daily routine activities and exercise. Medical issue, such as arthritis, lead to reduced activity which effectively contributes to weight gain.


Genes usually affect the quantities of body fat you can store and consequently, where it is stored. Genetics further determine your body’s efficiency in converting foods into energy and the rate in which your body can burn calories during physical exercise.

Family lifestyle

Obesity typically tends to run in the family. If any of your parents is obese, then your chances of developing obesity are normally increased. This is not just about genetics, but due to the fact that most family members share similar activity and eating habits.

Medical conditions

Some health conditions such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome may lead to overweight and obesity. Other medical issues like arthritis may as well result in obesity due to decreased activity.

Certain medicines

Taking certain pharmaceutical drugs can result in overweight if you do not maintain proper diet or exercise. They include some antidepressants, beta blockers and steroids, anti-seizure, and antipsychotics. Since they are strong enough to slow the body calories burning rate, they can alter your body in such a way it holds extra water or, increase your appetite. These factors can often lead to weight gain.

Social and economic issues

Research links economic and social factors to the rise of obesity. Inhibiting obesity is quite challenging, especially if you have no adequate facilities to exercise. Moreover, you may lack the ideal cooking tips, or you may lack money to sustain a healthy diet. The people with whom you spend time with can also influence your weight, especially if you have obese relatives or friends.


Obesity occurs at any age; even in toddlers. However, as you age, reduced lifestyle activity and hormonal changes relatively increase your chances of obesity. Additionally, your body muscles tend to decrease with age. The consequent muscle reduction results in a metabolic decrease. These changes significantly reduce calorie needs and deem it exceptionally difficult to restrain excess weight. If you are not conscious of what you consume and increase physical activity as you age, you are more likely to become obese.


Pregnant women usually gain weight such that they are able to support their babies’ development and growth. After childbirth, some women find it difficult to lose their weight; leading to obesity or overweight after a few births.

Quitting smoking

Quitting smoking is usually linked to related weight gain. For some, it may lead to additional weight rendering the individual obese. However, quitting smoking is of greater health benefit, in the long run than continued smoking.

Prenatal and Postnatal Influences

Early life is of great importance. Pregnant women who smoke or are overweight may sire children who end up becoming obese adults. Excessive infancy weight gain can raise obesity risk while breastfeeding could lower the risk significantly.

Sleep Deprivation

Inadequate sleep or oversleeping is commonly associated with hormonal changes that increase your appetite. You may also develop an appetite for carbohydrates and calories, which often result in increased body weight.

Sleep aids in the maintenance of balanced hormones that trigger hunger (ghrelin) or fullness (leptin). With inadequate sleep, your ghrelin levels will increase while your leptin levels decrease; this can make you feel much hungry.

Even though you exhibit any of these factors, you are not necessarily destined to be obese. You can continually counter these compromising, risk factors through regular physical activity, behavior changes and consumption of a healthy diet.