Obesity is a condition which is characterized by an excess of body fat. There are many different methods to measure obesity, but the most common is the body mass index (BMI). The BMI compares weight and height and defines anyone with a BMI of more than 30 as obese and anyone with a BMI over 40 as morbidly obese. Obesity is considered to be a medical condition because it increases the risk of various diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. It is predicted that obesity will soon be the number 1 cause of poor health. Let’s take a look at the cause of obesity.
What causes obesity?
Like many medical conditions obesity can be caused by a number of factors. However, it is mostly caused by a combination of excessive eating, poor diet, lack of exercise and/or genetic factors. In limited cases obesity may be primarily caused by genetics, medications, medical disorders (such as endocrine disorders) or psychiatric illness.
The rise in obesity levels is thought to be directly related to an increase in daily calorie consumption and decrease in exercise and physically demanding work. Between 1971 and 2000 obesity rates in the United States have doubled. Since 1971, women are consuming an average of 335 extra calories per day, while men are consuming an average of 168 extra calories per day.
Did you know?
The availability of fast food meals has long been linked with the rising obesity rates. In the United States the rate of fast food consumption tripled between 1977 and 1995 and the meal sizes have also increased during this time. Processed food has also remained relatively cheap in the United States during this time.
It is estimated that at least 60% of people do not get enough exercise. Over 10% of people in the United States report no exercise at all!