Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obesity | Causes Most People Don’t Know About

Causes of Obesity

With all the emphasis on the importance of weight loss and dieting in the world today, obesity incidence is still rising. The diet industry generates billions of dollars annually and yet the majority of the money spent by consumers is wasted. Why is that?

Why do people have so much trouble losing weight and even more difficulty in maintaining weight loss? Well, when we narrow it down, the problem lies either with the diet or the dieter. Let’s look at the bottom line cause of weight gain or weight loss.

If we look at the energy equation we find that when Input (food intake) exceeds Output (energy expenditure) the result is an excess of calories which are stored in the body as fat causing weight gain.

When Output exceeds Input we have a situation where a negative balance occurs in the equation (the body burns more calories than it consumes) which results in weight loss.

It’s as simple as that. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake over a long period of time (when Input exceeds Output).

This, however, is only ONE cause of obesity – NOT the only cause.

There are also other important factors related to obesity. Some of which people may not know.

Etiology (causes) of Obesity:

- Metabolism
- Genetics
- Activity Level
- Behavioral Factors
- Endocrine Factors
- Race, age and sex
- Ethnic background and cultural factors
- Socioeconomic position
- Dietary practices
- Smoking cessation
- Menopause and pregnancy
- Psychological factors
- Family background of gestational diabetes
- Lactational background in mothers

Secondary Obesity Causes

- Hypothyroidism
- Cushing syndrome
- Insulinoma
- Hypothalamic obesity
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Genetic syndromes (Chen syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, etc.)
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Medication factors (phenothiazines, sodium valproate, carbamazepine, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, glucocorticoids, megestrol acetate, thiazolidine diones, sulphonylurias, insulin, andrenergic anagonists, serotonin antagonist, specifically cyproheptadine.
- Eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, night eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
- Hypogonadism
- Pseudohypoparathyroidism
- Obesity associated to tube feeding

Other Conditions to Note

- Adiposa dolorosa (Dercum disease)
- Partial lipodystrophies related to localized lipohypertrophy

It is wise, therefore, to try and determine or to pin point the cause(s) of obesity before beginning a treatment plan. As they say knowledge is power. And only with the proper knowledge can a person treat this problem efficiently.

If you are obese or know someone who is obese and has tried calorie restriction without success then it may be wise to get medical diagnosis to get to the root of the problem. See your doctor first.

Video: Doctor Discusses Sleep and Obesity

Stay informed - stay healthy.

By John Tiniakos

Source: Weight Loss Articles from
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