Obesity and diet are not always linked, although in most cases, diet does play a large role in obesity. Gaining weight is simply a result of taking in more calories than you burn off in day. However, there are several other factors that do contribute to obesity and can put you at increased risk over other people to become obese.
Genetics and Obesity
Along with environmental factors, genetics play a significant role in obesity. Polymorphisms in certain genes that control appetite and metabolism can predispose certain people to obesity when they intake a sufficient amounts of calories. Depending on the population examined, the amount of people that have been diagnosed as obese because of genetics varies greatly. This number has been reported to be as high as 85% and as low as 6%. Genetics can account for why some people gain weight when they eat relatively healthy foods, while others can eat great amounts of food and not gain any weight.
Medical Problems and Obesity
Numerous physical and mental illnesses, and the medicines used to treat them, can also contribute to obesity. Some rare genetic syndromes such as hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency and Cushing’s syndrome all have been shown to contribute to obesity. Binge eating disorder and night eating syndrome also are two contributing factors to obesity, though obesity is not considered a psychiatric illness.
Diet and Obesity
While the cause of obesity in some cases is not diet, overall most people that fall into the obese category do so because of their diet. Oftentimes, in developed countries, obesity is also linked to lower social classes, as the least expensive food is often the unhealthiest. The quick options for eating, such as fast food and processed foods, are loaded with saturated fats and trans fats, both of which if consumed in abundance wreak havoc on your body and weight.
Inactivity and Obesity
Along with diet, a sedentary lifestyle is as much to blame for obesity. To remain within a healthy weight range, it is necessary to workout or at least be physically active, even if that just means walking up stairs and around a couple blocks daily. It does not take much to tone muscles and keep your metabolism in check in order to maintain your weight, but if you do not do any physical activity on a daily basis, it is really easy to continue gaining weight.
The easiest way to change the effects of diet on obesity is to cut back on calorie intake, as well as cut a few key foods out of your diet and replace them with healthier alternatives. Calculating your resting metabolic rate can give you a baseline amount to aim for regarding daily caloric levels. Be sure to use Fitday's online journal to track the foods you eat and to calculate your calorie counts.
By slowly reducing your calories, while cutting back on sugary beverages, processed foods and fast foods, you can begin on the road to better eating and begin improving your health. Try to work on eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and plenty of whole grains for the best results in fighting obesity.