Three factors are externally responsible for obesity, and these, when managed, can help in obesity control. These are:
Nutrition: Certain foods, such as refined carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, contribute the most to obesity
Medicine: Certain prescription medicine, including anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, medications for diabetes, hypertension, migraines, seizures, bipolar disorder, allergies, insomnia, and a host of others, are associated with weight gain.
Sleep: Disrupted sleep; sleep less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours can lead to obesity. Difficulty in breathing can also be a reason for disturbed sleep.
Obesity, according to the Obesity Medicine Association, is not a personal choice. It is a complex interplay of genetics, environment, and other factors. The magnitude of this disorder’s impact on health can be understood when we realize that obesity impacts 236 diseases, of which 13 are cancers. (Obesity Medicine Association).
Obesity was first recognized as a disease in 1948 by the WHO.
Some genetic mutations are known to trigger obesity directly. But as is the case in most genetic-related ailments, possessing such genes only predisposes the individual towards the emergence of that ailment; it is not a definitive outcome of these genes.
Several studies have noted that body fat increases with age, and muscle loss occurs, even after controlling for body weight changes and physical activity. (Baumgartner et al., 1995) Skeletal body mass declines from the 3rd decade of life onwards. (Dutta et al., 1995) The rates of decline are higher in women after menopause. (Aloia et al., 1991)
Obesity, to summarize, is a complex disease. It is caused by multiple factors and is responsible for various disorders.
Additional reading on obesity: