Over 35% of American adults are classified as obese and over 70% of the total population is overweight.
Obesity is one of the world’s health problems. One of the major drawbacks of obesity is that it comes with various other life threatening diseases like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and stroke among others. Combined, these diseases kill millions of people each year.
But why do people get fat?
Why have people become overweight all of a sudden especially beginning in the 1980’s to date?
…What changed and triggered the sudden weight gain in the populace and presently running rampant among children?
There are various reasons that have been thrown out there as among the reasons why people get fat. One of the reasons thrown around…
…is that fat people are lazy and that they lack the willpower it takes to lose weight, but is it?
Can it all be blamed on a lack of willpower to lose weight?
Well, it turns out, there are several reasons that all combined create a cataclysmic reaction that contributes to weight gain the most.
Here are the top 7 factors that are contributing to weight gain and thus causing people to become fat.
1. Genetic Influences
Children of obese parents are much more likely to become obese themselves because obesity and weight gain has a genetic component to it. However, becoming fat simply because your parents are fat isn’t exactly set in stone.
The environment that these genes are exposed to and the signals that are sent to these genes have much more influence. For example, people from societies that are not industrialised rapidly become fat when they expose their bodies to the American diet.
Their genes simply do not change. What changes is the environment they expose their genes to and the consequent signals that this new environment sends to their genes. This is what triggers their weight gain and causes them to get fat.
Sugar in the modern day diet has been the worst contributor to most of these major world health problems that include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses.
Sugar contributes to weight gain in several ways. One of the ways is that excess sugar not converted and used by the body as energy is stored as fat. The more sugars you keep on consuming and that are not used by the body for its energy needs go directly to your fat deposits, adding to your weight gain.
Sugar is also bad for the body in that it changes the biochemistry and hormones in the body causing anomalies like insulin resistance and leptin resistance. Changes in the body’s biochemistry and hormones occasioned by excess sugars affect its functioning negatively. These anomalies contribute to weight gain thus making people get fat.
It is also good to note that sugar also known as sucrose is a blanket word for three components contained in it namely;
– Galactose and
Fructose is the unhealthy component that affects the body causing weight gain and obesity among other aforementioned chronic illnesses.
3. Bad Eating Habits
In the modern day, caution seems to have been thrown out the window when it comes to minding what goes into our bodies and the diets that we call our own don’t help either. We constantly feed on starch and sugars and junk foods that are just refined foods mixed with chemicals.
Most of the food we eat is processed food that is engineered to be cheap and that tastes so good that we keep on eating it. We can’t help ourselves and we simply do not bother to eat healthy because healthy might not taste as good and might also be slightly expensive.
The uptake of sugary drinks made on processed sugars has also gone up leading to us pumping our bodies with tons of unhealthy processed sugars.
Bad foods and diets affect the workings of our bodies changing their environment and affecting important hormones. This in turn leads to gaining weight and bad diseases.
Getting hooked to these foods also affects us in that we keep on eating and as the law of thermodynamics dictates, the energy that goes into a machine must equal the energy that goes out. In this case, the energy introduced into the body via the food we keep on eating must be utilised and if not, then it has to be stored in some way and in this case, it is stored as fat. This leads to weight gain and obesity.
4. Certain Hormones
As seen in other causes above, creating a bad environment in the body changes the way the body functions including affecting various hormones. One of these hormones that are often affected is insulin.
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body and besides regulating energy, it also tells the fat cells to store fat and whether to hold onto it among other functions. Bad body environments occasioned by what we eat cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, elevates the levels of insulin in the body causing energy to selectively get stored in the body as fat.
Another hormone that gets affected is leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in the fat cells. The purpose of leptin is to send signals in the hypothalamus part of our brains that tells the body its full thus helping control food intake. Leptin resistance leads to the brain not responding to this hormone thus the body cannot tell when it’s time to stop eating. More energy in terms of food into our bodies that isn’t being used is then stored as fat which leads to weight gain.
5. Certain Drugs
There are lots of medications that cause weight gain as a side effect. Some of these medications include antidepressants, antipsychotics and diabetes medications among others.
These drugs alter the functioning of the body in turn causing fat cells to be stored instead of being burned for use.
6. Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is often overlooked when it comes to considering factors that cause weight gain. However, lack of sleep alters the way the body hormones that affect weight gain function. This in turn contributes to cravings and increased hunger.
Studies have shown that lack of enough sleep is one of the strongest obesity risk factors. It is linked to a 55% increased risk factor in adults and 89% in children.
7. Lack of Good Body Exercise
Exercise is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight. We work in environments where jobs are not that physically demanding. In yester years, working in factories, farming and what have you demanded a lot of physical activity from people. This in turn led to burning of calories which helped them maintain healthy weights.
Present day working environments tend to be more sedentary and although leisure time physical exercise has increased, our jobs are not as physically demanding and not enough calories get burned.
Getting fat is more complicated than just having the willpower to get rid of the weight. A lot of chemical and biological factors that cannot be eliminated by the straight up solution of willpower come into play. We have covered the top 7 reasons that contribute to people getting fat. Reasons like;
– Certain pharmaceutical drugs
– Lack of sufficient sleep
– Lack of exercise
– Bad eating habits and
All in all, we need to look after our bodies and create the right environments for them. As we have seen above, bad environments alter how the body works leading not only to weight gain and obesity but also to deadly chronic illnesses. Take good care of yourself and live a happy, healthy life.
Workout of the Day
Maximal Effort Upper Body
B. Three sets of:
300 Meter Run
Dumbbell Ground to Overhead x 10 reps
Rest 3 minutes between sets