Obesity is one of the significant health issues of this generation with people of all ages suffering from it. Almost half of the population living in a city or close to it with comfortable living conditions are seen to be the most to suffer from obesity. It’s related to other health conditions collectively known as metabolic syndrome. High blood pressure, diabetes, poor blood lipid along with a host of other health issues are related directly to obesity. Even respiratory problems and skin diseases and arthritis are some major causes of weight gain.
People with these health issues, due to obesity, are more likely to have heart disease and type 2 diabetes than most people whose weight remains within a normal range.
Five significant causes of Obesity are:
Recently, research has shown that our genetics play an important role in causing obesity. Children born to obese parents are more likely to be obese themselves than those who aren’t. However, obesity is not always predetermined. Your food intake is mostly responsible for what genes are expressed and those that are not.
It has been seen in non-industrialised societies, that once they start consuming a western diet or a diet of a predominantly industrialised society, they start gaining weight and becoming obese. Even though their genes didn’t alter, the environment and the accompanying signals they provided their body, did.
Therefore it can be said that specific components in our genes do affect our susceptibility to becoming obese. Twins or siblings demonstrate such facts very well.
Often when hungry we tend to consume food from fast food joints or confectioneries. Most of these fall under the category of junk food, i.e., heavily processed food mixed with harmful additives and preservatives. These type of food is readily available; they are sold at a much cheaper rate than most, are long lasting that is- they don’t rot, or there is no need to make them fresh every day. Most of these items taste good and therefore are hard to resist by most when trying to ward instant hunger.
The attempt to turn out tasty commercial food with least chance of going to waste due to rot- manufacturers increase their profit due to increased sells. It causes overeating which is a significant cause of obesity. Most of these processed, preservatives infused food does not resemble or contain ingredients like whole foods. These are only designed to get people hooked into their taste and longevity.
Issues related to insulin formation and Food Addiction: Usually junk food, due to their sugar-sweetened, high calorie infusing quality, stimulate certain reward centres in our brain. These foods have often been compared to addictive intoxicants like- alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and marijuana. Fast food can become an addiction to susceptible individuals who lose their control over their food intake like people usually do in case of habits to liquor. The issue of addiction is very complex and crucial to overcoming since once addicted you can lose the freedom to choose to come out of it.
As a result of such addictions and due to regular consumption of junk food one essential hormone in our body gets affected- Insulin. It is a crucial hormone which regulates energy storage among other things to keep our body healthy and active. One of the critical functions of Insulin is to regulate blood cells to store the necessary fat and to hold on to the fact they already carry, extracted from our diet. It has been seen in modern research that, Western food affects insulin resistance for many obese individuals. The result of this is an elevation of insulin levels throughout the body, causing energy to store in fat cells instead of being available for use. It is believed that high insulin levels have a significant role in the development of obesity. One important thing to do under such circumstances is to cut down on carbohydrates and increase the fibre content in our food.
Leptin is a crucial hormone that plays a significant role in obesity. Being produced by fat cells, Leptin increases with higher fat mass and rise in blood sugar levels. High Leptin levels in healthy people reduces appetite. When functioning correctly, it informs our brain how high the fat stores in our body are. In obese people, Leptin does not work as it should and hampers the blood-brain connection of notifying our body against more consumption. The condition is known as Leptin resistance and is a leading factor in the pathogenesis of obesity.
Even if we don’t have full control of our bodily functions, it is our responsibility to ensure we control our eating habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unless some serious medical condition gets in our way, we have to keep it within our power to control our weight. You can also go for diet pills such as Phentermine along with some exercise and a good diet to keep your extra fat under control.