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What Causes Obesity?
Obesity risks - heart disease - cancer - gall bladder disease

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Causes of Obesity
Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors all play a part.

Genetic factors
Obesity tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. Yet families also share diet and lifestyle habits that may also contribute to obesity. Separating these from purely genetic factors is not easy.

Environmental factors
Environment also strongly influences obesity. This includes lifestyle behavior such as what a person eats and his or her level of physical activity. Americans tend to eat high-fat foods, and put taste and convenience ahead of nutrition. Also, most Americans do not take enough exercise.

Note: Although you cannot change your genetic makeup, you can change your eating habits and levels of activity.

Psychological factors
Psychological factors also influence eating habits. Many people eat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, or anger.

Most overweight people have no more psychological problems than people of average weight. Still, up to 10 percent of people who are mildly obese and try to lose weight on their own or through commercial weight loss programs have binge eating disorder. This disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese.

Note: If you are upset by binge eating behavior and think you might have binge eating disorder, seek help from a health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

Other causes of obesity
Some illnesses can lead to obesity or a tendency to gain weight. These include hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, depression, and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. Also, drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause weight gain. A doctor can tell whether there are underlying medical conditions that are causing weight gain or making weight loss difficult.

 

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The material on this site is provided for general educational and general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be considered to be, any form of substitute for medical counseling. Always consult your own doctor or health care provider about the suitability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions. If you are currently on a medically prescribed diet or have any specific medical conditions, food allergies or intolerances which require you to be on one, you must consult your doctor before following any advice on this site. If you have any doubts whatsoever, then for the sake of your health please consult your doctor.