Leading Causes of Rise in Adult Obesity and Overweight


Despite the growing recognition, in the past few years, obesity has started to become a worldwide health threat. This is often recognized by health professionals to be one of the problems associated with many life-threatening diseases. Obesity depends on several factors like genetics, behavior, self-control, physical activity, and many more. Being overweight can have serious implications on both physical and mental health, and can lead to poor quality of life.

Health professionals can diagnose if you’re obese with a BMI (Body Mass Index) test. Generally, a BMI over 30 is categorized as being obese. Being overweight is a result of the energy imbalance in the body due to the consumption of excess calories and not being able to metabolize all of it. This results in the excess energy being stored as fat in the body.

Obesity is observed in populations that have the facilities to promote lower physical activity and higher availability of high-calorie foods. But everyone isn’t affected by this disease in the same way, and there are some crucial factors that determine the development of obesity in most populations. In this article, you’ll get to know about the leading causes of rise in adult obesity in recent years.

Food Addiction

Many of the popular junk foods and sugar-based beverages have been proven to cause addiction by affecting the reward centers in the human brain. In individuals with less self-control, this is even more prevalent.

Any type of addiction is extremely hard to overcome, and the same goes for food. Some people with this affliction may start craving food at random times, and this disbalances the calorie levels in their bodies, giving rise to obesity.

Junk Food
Photo by Christopher Flowers on Unsplash

Genetic Factors

There have been several studies in the recent few years that have connected obesity in children to their parents’ genes. The specific obesity-associated gene (FTO) can cause both obesity and induce behaviors that lead to obesity.

FTO may even play a role in the increased amounts of ghrelin in the body, which stimulates appetite. Also, it can be noticed that children of parents with chronic obesity are much more likely to be obese later in their lives.

If you are struggling with obesity, then you should try these at-home DNA tests for weight loss. These tests can give you a lot of important information about your genetic tendencies. Do not make any decisions until you learn detailed information here. Using this valuable information you can modify your weight-loss strategies to see how your body responds to various diet plans.

Inactive Lifestyle

Technology is constantly providing better alternatives to manual labor, and this has serious implications on the increase in obesity in recent times. People have reduced physical activity and thus their energy needs have changed. But their diets have remained more or less the same.

This leads to the storage of excess energy that gets converted into fat in the body. Physical activity is also linked to the hormonal changes in the body that regulate the body’s food processing mechanisms.

Getting Less Sleep

Many studies have linked lack of sleep to the chances of weight gain, which leads to obesity. Sleep deprivation affects hormones that are responsible for regulating your appetite. This can lead to increased food consumption and thus more fat.

The specific hormone that stimulates appetite due to the lack of sleep is known as ghrelin. It has also been found that the production of leptin is negatively affected, which suppresses appetite. A combination of these can lead to a rapid increase in weight.

Increased Fructose Intake

The sweetened beverages found throughout the world contain a type of sugar known as fructose. It has been found that fructose has a direct impact on lipids and glucose metabolism. This can lead to fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and more. Also, metabolic syndrome is one of the most common diseases found in obese people.

So, it is now believed that fructose intake can cause metabolic syndrome and obesity. Fructose intake can cause major health issues for both children and adults who consume sweetened beverages on a daily basis.

elderberry juice

Diets Rich in Simple Carbohydrates

The intake of simple carbohydrates in the form of desserts, soft drinks, sugars, fructose, soft drinks, etc. contributes to increased insulin production in the body. This can lead to weight gain and obesity because of the increased production of fat tissue.

Complex carbohydrates like grains, rice, fruits, vegetables are absorbed much slower into the bloodstream, and thus they are much less harmful than simple carbohydrates in terms of insulin release in the body.

Psychological Factors

In some people, eating habits are influenced by changes in mood and emotions. Anger, sadness, stress, and other emotional states can lead to increased food intake, which can lead to increased weight.

Also, stress and sadness can be associated with poor diet and lack of exercise in many people. Depression, anxiety and other psychological distresses can lead to substance abuse and food abuse, which results in obesity in otherwise healthy individuals.

Sociological Factors

Social issues like lack of money to afford healthy food on a daily basis can lead to the consumption of cheap junk foods and packaged foods.  This can be commonly observed in the younger population who live on foods like sodas, candies, and other packaged junk foods. They are generally cheaper and more readily available than fresh groceries. 

The transition to the use of more vehicles for transportation and other facilities which reduce physical activity can also be pointed as a sociological factor that is slowly increasing obesity in the population.

Lack of Awareness

Another factor that can introduce obesity in the population can be pointed out as the misinformation that is spread through the internet and other media. Many sources of information regarding studies of weight gain are dubious, and plant misconceptions in the minds of people.

Also, many products are sold that advertise quick weight loss, but almost none of these work. They can lead people to think that losing weight is simple and prevent them from caring about weight gain in their bodies.

Prescription Drugs

There are several pharmaceutical drugs that can cause specific changes in the body mechanisms that give rise to weight gain as a side effect. Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diabetes medication, hormonal drugs are some of the few medications that directly affect fat production in the body.

The specific reason for weight gain from each drug is different in every case. If you take these medications and the weight gain from them is a concern, then you need to check with your doctor for replacements or if you should discontinue them.