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Risk factors for becoming obese
Complications of obesity
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The causes of obesity are numerous, there is not one answer to the question of what causes it. We also know that from statistics, obesity in the United States alone is a big number and a big concern. Some say that upwards of 60% of people are overweight and out of that ratio that about half are considered obese. These numbers are approximations and each State varies. Generally the south eastern states have a higher percentage of obesity/overweight people as compared with the Northern and Western States. Some contribute this weather/pastimes/culture/etc.
What is a very concerning issue is that of child obesity, these numbers have been increasing rising and statistics show that about 1 in 5 children are obese. What is so concerning about this is that these children almost assured of an adult life of obesity unless drastic measures are taken.
Along with obesity comes health related problems. Health issues like type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hardened arteries, high blood pressure, some cancers, and even mental health issues such as depression and low self esteem all go hand in hand with obesity. These health issues are also just the beginning, there are many other health related issues both directly and indirectly that are affected, essentially costing billions of dollars in things like health care and indirectly in lower productivity at work etc.
What also is responsible to some degree of obesity/being overweight is genetics. Genetically some people are more predispositioned to gaining weight than others, they may have more fat cells in their body and may not enjoy certain degrees of exercise that others do. Their energy levels are typically less which leads to fewer calories burned etc. Genetics play a part not only in how ones body metabolizes food but also indirect genetics of learned behavior from ones parents and relatives growing up. If you are from a family that eats lots of food and exercises little, it is easy to learn that kind of life and follow in it. But all too often this becomes an excuse for people to make about their own weight, they figure their parents where overweight and so they are and that is all there is to that. While it may be more difficult for these individuals to lose weight it still can be done by following health habits.
The causes of obesity and being overweight in basic terms is ingesting more calories than you are using, the resulting calories then end up as being stored fat on your body. When the process is repeated over and over, the more weight is accumulated. This usually comes in the form of eating too much fatty and sugary foods combined with a lack of exercise. However, eating a lot of relatively healthy food and lack of exercise can lead to becoming overweight, albeit not as often. There is also often the excuse made of eating poor foods and then going for a 30 minute light jog or walk and figuring that all is well, yet it is not and the pounds can still add up.
What is contributing to an increase caloric intake and reduced diet? Our modern lifestyle and relative simplicity of things. Our grocery stores are filled with easy quick food selections that are cheaply priced. Many of these selections, even the ones that are not the obvious soda's and chips type are still high in sodium and calories. We also have created hobbies and activities that burn next to no calories, video games for example.
Essentially people must eat better and get more exercise, it is the old cliché but it is so true. Find ways to have some fun with exercise and don't be afraid to push yourself in the process. Also find ways to reduce the amounts you eat, especially poor food choices. If you do a little each couple of days, the overall impact after a few months can be huge. Make the changes at a pace that will allow you to continue, often people make the mistake of the cold turkey approach and after a few days they are so exhausted they give up entirely.
The American Obesity Association offers excellent advice, information and resources for all those fighting obesity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health offers excellent articles and research on obesity and health issues. Use the search box to access obesity related information.
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