What Causes Obesity?
Obesity is becoming a greater and greater problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates have been going up significantly along with other health issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. Obviously, the question that needs to be answered is what causes obesity.
Now, if you’re like most people, you’re probably going to say that it’s obvious that overeating is what actually causes obesity. Well, in some cases, your assertion would be correct, but in many others, it’s actually wrong. A number of factors contribute to obesity.
According to Obesity Myths, the greatest reasons behind obesity are in the kind of food consumed as well as a general lack of activity.
What Causes Obesity? It’s Really Fairly Simple:
Kinds of Food Consumed
One of the worst foods that you can consume on a regular basis is sugar. It causes inflammation and stores within your fat cells.
Dr. Joseph Mercola actually lists out dozens different dangers that sugar poses to your health. They range from rotting your teeth to wrecking your metabolism to destroying your immune system. In fact, it is one of the primary sources of calories consumed in the American diet, and the amount consumed by the average American is one of the few things that have changed substantially since the 1700s.
Sugar can create a number of health related issues. Foods that turn into sugar when consumed are likewise problematic because they increase your blood sugar and create the same problems. Even organic fruit can be problematic. Organic fruit juices, on the other hand, are almost as bad as drinking soda since most of the redeeming benefits of fruit like fiber are stripped away.
In fact, recent research has demonstrated that it is not actually obesity that causes diabetes but rather consumption of high levels of sugar and fructose.
Remember that to your body, it doesn’t matter whether the fruit is classified as healthy or not. In fact, all too often certain classic health foods that you probably think are helping you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
General Lack of Inactivity
Another cause of obesity is a general lack of activity. Failure to move throughout the day causes the body to slow down its metabolic processes. Your body is very efficient. It isn’t going to burn more than it has to.
After all, your body doesn’t know that you’re living in the modern world without having to dodge wolves, barbarians, and other predators. So it is going to save everything it can for the times when you need it to survive.
So everything that you don’t use calorically speaking, your body turns it into fat.
The other result of inactivity is that it leads to the atrophy of your muscles. This is problematic for many reasons. One of the problems is that the number of calories you burn each day will drop because muscle burns more calories than fat.
The other problem is that being sedentary makes it more likely that you will remain sedentary. The best way to increase your energy levels next to eating properly is to be active. Activity helps to spur on more activity.
Remember though that you need to be active throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be intensive activity. In fact, it’s better if it’s just general low impact activity like walking when you can, stretching every so often, and just moving around.
Working at a standing desk is a great way to increase your activity levels throughout the day. Depending on your weight, you may burn anywhere from an extra 30 to 70 calories an hour.
By cutting out sugar as much as you can and making yourself more active, you will start to notice drastic increases in your overall alertness and healthfulness. Take it one day at a time. Make healthy choices and push forward. You’ll be amazed at the difference you see in your body and your mind.
“Obesity Rates,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html (2012).
“An Epidemic of Obesity Myths: Nation of Couch Potatoes,” Obesity Myths, http://www.obesitymyths.com/myth5.1.htm (2011).
Dr. Mercola, “This Addictive Commonly Used Food Feeds Cancer Cells, Triggers Weight Gain, and Promotes Premature Aging,” Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx (2010)