What are the Causes of Obesity?
Obesity occurs over time when someone eats more calories than the body requires. If you eat more calories and burn less in return, the extra calories store as fats in your body. Causes of obesity vary, such as obese parents have higher chances of obese children as well. A few medical conditions or physical problems can also cause obesity but it is rare. Specialists blame the modern society that continues to promote junk food despite the devastating evidence about its hazards. A lack of physical activity or regular exercise can also lead to obesity. There can be many factors that may affect your weight such as overeating, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activities, eating high-calorie foods, genetic reasons, and many more.
Here are a few important causes of obesity in children and young adults.
- Poor Eating Patterns
- Lack of Exercise
- Family History of Obesity
- Unnecessary Snacking
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Emotional Problems
Poor Eating Patterns
In this busy life, our eating preferences shifted to quick and easy methods. For parents, daily schedules are so busy that they find no time to make healthier food at home. Children also find home-food as boring and prefer to rely on fast food. Frequently eating fattening foods such as junk food, fries, chocolates, cakes, donuts, cheese, pasta, and other unhealthy snacks can cause obesity in children. More evidence points to processed food and sugary drinks such as soda, energy drinks, and artificial fruit juices as culprits in obesity.
Lack of Exercise
Obesity in children is mainly caused by less involvement in physical activities. Children with very little or no physical exercise at all are more likely to be obese because they don’t burn calories as much they eat. Experts suggest that children, teens, and adults must walk for 60 minutes per day. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the U.S prefer to spend their time doing stationary activities such as watching TV or playing video games. Use of electronic devices, such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, and video games can hinder children from exercising.
Scientists explain that genetics can also play a role in obesity. Genes determine our body types and how they will store or burn fat. Prader-Willi syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome are obesity syndromes that are caused directly by genetics. However, genetics solely isn’t responsible for the current obesity crisis in children. Genes and lifestyle behaviors may both be required for a person to be obese. Both genes and habits are passed down from parents to offspring, so if genes can help increase in obesity, one can change it by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Family History of Obesity
Some families have a history of obesity which is a risk factor of young children to become obese. The risk of obesity is higher because there will be shared family behavior regarding eating habits. Such families tend to eat large portion size meals and put no restrictions on calorie intake. Children can learn these behaviors from an early age and develop the pattern of overeating as their lifestyle. Children can gain weight easily in an environment where fattening foods are always available.
Nowadays, many children spend most of their time on internet activities and remain inactive physically. We all know that modern life is a sedentary lifestyle where most of us prefer playing online games rather than playing real-life games at the playground. Research has shown that the average child spends at least 4 hours per day watching TV. With the increasing popularity of video games, mobile phones, and tablets, the number of hours may increase. The children who watch TV for more than 4 hours each day are at higher risk of becoming obese. Additionally, these children will likely to eat more food while sitting in front of the TV or computer.
Many years ago, perhaps in our parents’ era, kids were allowed to eat one snack per day. Nowadays, they are having three or even four snacks a day, resulting in many additional calories per day. There are no such laws that prevent eating unhealthy food, so it’s becoming a habit. Children and teens in the U.S are eating unhealthy food and beverages during their school breaks, weekends, or even at home gatherings.
Bullying, depression, or lack of parental attention to children can cause emotional problems in them. Children with such emotional issues are less active in their lives. They also lack confidence in making new friends or being active in social activities. When a child does not participate in school activities, he or she can become obese. Research has shown that people tend to eat when they are bored, so, such children can gain weight easily.