There are many reasons for overweight and obesity, however, according to the latest research, they can be divided into several groups of factors influencing their development.
Factors causing overweight / obesity
- genetic factors, where the main reason may be the FTO obesity gene,
- pharmacological factors (some drugs affecting the slowing down of metabolic processes),
- psychological factors (eating sadness, difficulties in finishing the meal in spite of the feeling of fullness),
- biological agents (eg tumors of the mid-abdominal suprarenal testes, hypothyroidism),
- environmental factors (increased food access, sedentary lifestyle, life automation).
It is estimated that about 16% of the population has at least 2 copies of the „obesity gene”, which results in a 60% risk of developing obesity in the future. However, whether genes will be activated or not depends to a large extent on us, and precisely on our lifestyle, which consists of the way of nutrition and physical activity. Scientific reports show that the probability of obesity in a child reaches 80% if both parents were obese and 40% when only one of the parents was obese. However, it is said that in the case of children, the probability of overweight and obesity is largely related to imitating the parents’ poor eating habits. However, it is estimated that even by omitting environmental factors, the risk of obesity increases by 40% when the disease appeared in the family in earlier generations.
Factors affecting the development of obesity also include physiological factors. Human nutrition is regulated by the central nervous system. These centers located in the hypothalamus all the time receive psychological, nervous, hormonal and metabolic stimuli informing about the state of tissue nutrition. Processed information in the hypothalamus shapes the feeling of hunger, appetite, satiety. A disorder of proper functioning in these centers may change the man’s behavior in the area of eating habits, which causes the accumulation of extra pounds.
Lifestyle can also increase the likelihood of obesity. It develops primarily as a result of consuming excess energy in relation to the body’s needs and too little physical activity, i.e. too little energy expenditure. The energy balance instead of being on the zero level becomes positive, which causes that excess energy is accumulated in the body in the form of adipose tissue. Decreased physical activity in highly developed societies is an important factor causing obesity. Women with a sedentary lifestyle are seven times more likely to grow weight, and men four times.
It is difficult, despite many scientific reports, to clearly determine the percentage of causal distribution in obesity, because often excessive body mass is the result of several co-existing causes. However, if you are family-laden with the risk of overweight, you can still prevent weight gain by changing your lifestyle, nutrition and physical activity . If overweight or obesity has already appeared, it is worth consulting with a specialist who will help you make changes to normalize your weight.