Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems.
Obesity is generally caused by over-eating and inactivity or lack of exercise to burn off calories. It is one of the leading causes of other chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea certain types of cancer and osteoarthritis amongst others.
Several surveys conducted at one point or the other has revealed a scary statistics of obese people. For example, a survey conducted in the 1970s was conducted also in 2004 and it was found to have doubled.
One leading cause of obesity is the consumption of junk food. Overwhelming increase in population, low-incomes and food insecurity, people can be especially vulnerable due to the additional risk-factors associated with inadequate resources and under-resourced communities.
Generally, there ought to be a balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure in our body just like homeostasis, the maintaining of a stable equilibrium between interdependent elements especially as maintained by physiological processes, there ought to be an expenditure of calories as they are ingested into the body. But in the advent, for whatsoever reason, the cycle is not completed it leads to serious complication in the body. According to http://www.medicinenet.com ‘if a person eats more calories than he or she burns (metabolizes), the person gains weight (the body will store the excess energy as fat). If a person, the most common causes of obesity are over-eating and physical inactivity’.
Recent findings in science have revealed the role of genes amongst other factors as the leading cause of obesity. Most of us have settled into sedentary lifestyles and have trouble resisting the temptations of cheap, plentiful food our culture served up.
Major factors that induces obesity includes Genetics, Metabolism, environment, behaviour and culture.
Genetics: The physiological processes involved in the regulation of food intake, i.e., sending of signals to the brain are usually affected by the gene one carries. For example, leptin a hormone produced in fat cells and also in the placenta. It controls weight by signalling the brain to et less when body ft stores are too high. If there is a deficiency in the production of leptin, it result in storage of fat in the body and leads to overweight in the individual. Generally, if one or both parent are obese, there is a likelihood one might be obese.
Overeating: overeating which is one the major factors obesity leads to weight gain especially when it is high in fat. Foods high in fat or sugar (for example fast food, fried food and sweet) have high energy density.
Inactivity: without exercising, calories are stored in the body as fat which could lead other diseases.
Psychological factors: eating excessively as a result of one’s emotion may lead to overfeeding which consequently leads to overweight.