The Complex Causes of Obesity What really is the main cause of this disease?

According to the National Institute of Health, obesity is "a condition in which a person has an unhealthy amount and/or distribution of body fat" ("Obesity").

Obesity is influenced by a variety of factors. The factors include hormone imbalances, genetics, heredity, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, and the consumption of large portions of food.

Fast food is often a quicker more cheaper option for families. One study conducted blames the availability of processed foods to a “sharp rise in the prevalence of obesity in westernized countries” (Blakemore).

The Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the CDC illustrates results that “in the past decade, inactivity has surged” (Hilburn) greatly contributing to the extreme spike in obesity in the general public.

Sedentary Lifestyles

Alcohol possesses a very high caloric value and is very prevalent in today’s culture, exemplified through binge drinking (“Causes of Obesity”). Consuming this large amount of calories through alcohol consumption is a key contributor to obesity seen in young, college-aged individuals.

Binge drinking

Some argue that obesity is mainly impacted by hormone imbalances and perinatal factors. One source claims “that eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise may counteract some of the gene-related obesity risk” (“Genes Are Not Destiny”). According to another research study, perinatal factors “may be the strongest predictor of all, at least partially because overweight mothers teach their children similar unhealthy habits” (Vos and Welsh). As a result, by practicing and teaching healthy lifestyles to children at a young age, the effects of negative perinatal factors may be reduced.

In order to halt the rising rates of obesity today, implementation of public health efforts to educate the general public should be made. Funding for more research on obesity should be made available.

Works Cited

Blakemore, Alexandra, et al. “Genetics of Obesity and the Prediction of Risk for Health.” Oxford Academic, vol. 15, no. 2, 2006, pp. 124, https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article/15/suppl_2/R124/626082/Genetics-of-obesity-and-the-prediction-of-risk-for. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.

“Causes of Obesity.” NHS, http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Obesity/Pages/Causes.aspx15. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

Eknoyan, Garabed. “A History of Obesity, or How What Was Good Became Ugly and Then Bad.” Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, vol. 13, no. 4, 2006, pp. 421-27.

“Genes Are Not Destiny.” Obesity Prevention Source, www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/genes-and-obesity/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Gunnars, Kris. “Leptin and Leptin Resistance: Everything You Need to Know.” Authority Nutrition. Authority Nutrition, 18 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.

Hilburn, Matthew. “Study: Obesity Surge Fueled by Sedentary Lifestyle.” VOA, https://authoritynutrition.com/leptin-101/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

“Obesity.” National Institutes of Health, www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/obesity/index.cfm. Accessed 5 Mar. 2017.

“Overweight and Obesity.” National Institutes of Health, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe. Accessed 6 Mar. 2017.

“Prenatal and Early Life Influences.” Obesity Prevention Source, www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/prenatal-postnatal-obesity/. Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Vos, Miriam, and Welsh, Jean. “Childhood Obesity: Update on Predisposing Factors and Prevention Strategies.” Curr Gastroenterol Rep, vol. 12, no. 4, 2010, pp. 280-87.

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