Understanding the Causes of Obesity

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

download word file, 2 pages 4.3

Obesity, which refers specifically to an excess amount of body fat, has become a health problem of epidemic proportions. Sixty percent of the adult population in the United States are overweight or obese.1 It has been documented that, ?Today in the developed world, the incidence od obesity is rising and there are now as many obese people in the world as there are people suffering from hunger.?1 As astounding as this fact is, it is important to understand the causes of obesity. Obesity develops when a person takes in more calories than they burn off. Genetic, environmental, psychological, and other factors can directly relate to this caloric imbalance.2 The first key factor of obesity is genetics. Obesity can be displayed in families. In a recent study of adopted people were found to be closer in weight to their biological parents, rather than the parents who raised them. This information can prove that genetic makeup can have a direct link to obesity.2

The second key factor is the environment in which a person lives and behaves. The environment is a strong influence, but unlike genetics, the environmental factor can be changed.

High-fat content foods are replacing nutritional foods due to the convenience and abundance of fast food restaurants. The loss of physical activity in everyday lives is a direct road to obesity.

These contributing causes of obesity can be avoided by becoming more physically active, and monitoring or tracking food intake to ensure a healthier diet.1 The third key factor of obesity is psychological, which can bring about binge eating.

Psychological factors can include eating not due to hunger but because of anger, or depression, or any negative emotion. Psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, or any health professionals can all be useful tools in removing the psychological factor of obesity.2...