Based on obesity statistics, over 30% of Americans have enough excess body fat to be considered obese (20% or more over ideal body fat weight). According to the latest report, approximately $147 billion is spent in the United States annually on weight loss efforts.
As far as diet and obesity is concerned, the most common assumptions people tend to make is that all individuals who have become obese simply eat too much. However, researchers believe that the causes of obesity cannot be simply defined because many factors contribute to obesity. They think it is clear that factors contributing to obesity fall under two broad categories: Lifestyle and Genetics.
In respect to lifestyle and obesity,it is a known fact that unhealthy eating habit is one of the main causes of obesity. Beyond all reasonable doubts, people tend to accumulate fat as they age. Although this gradual accumulation of fat, sometimes known as creeping obesity, is partly due to the natural replacement of muscle with fat due to the aging process, and a decrease in metabolic rate; however, a more sedentary lifestyle and a lack of adjustment in eating patterns seem to contribute the most.
In regards to obesity and genetics, even though positive caloric balance (i.e. consuming more calories than you burn) is considered a primary obesity risk factor, more recent research reveals that people who are predisposed to obesity may consume no more calories than people of normal weight. It is believed that most obese individuals seem to require fewer calories to maintain a given weight level.
Some obese people also tend to naturally have higher levels of insulin, which help to promote the conversion of sugar to fat, making it easier for the body to deposit fat in its fat cells. This insulin pathway leading to insulin obesity, has known to be one of the most common genetically linked causes of obesity. High insulin levels have shown to contribute to psychological reason for eating.
When a person has an extra amount of insulin in the blood, it makes them hungrier, makes sweet foods taste better. The more sugar they consume, the greater the chance of them ending up with more fat cells which may consequently leads to obesity health risk such as diabetes, Hypertension and Heart diseases. Unfortunately, an individual does not get rid of these extra fat cells during weight loss; they simply shrink. These “starved” fat cells increase the urge for an individual to eat out of control and quickly regains the lost weight.
All the above information clearly shows the causes of obesity. As you can see, the causes of obesity are related to genetics and lifestyle. Therefore, to say the cause of obesity is simply because people in general eat too much is only a partially true statement. Everyone that is obese does not consume the same daily amount of calories. In fact, some eat far less than others. This should confirm that lifestyle and genetics both play a major role in the cause of obesity.
Due to the connection between obesity and genetics, obese individuals can be found in an environment where food supply is usually short or the availability of food fluctuates. However, in a food-abundant culture, where people are prone to overeat, obesity tends to be more prevalent.