Understanding Your Weight and Health

Causes of Obesity

Obesity Factors
Obesity is simply not a result of overeating. It is a chronic disease that needs to be prevented and treated. The causes of obesity are widespread. Better understanding the causes of obesity can help you better treat obesity. Talk with your healthcare provider about your daily habits, medical history and family medical history to determine the best treatment plan for you.

  • Obesity is a complicated disease.
  • Obesity has more than one cause.
  • Obesity is not just about food.
  • Obesity is not someone’s fault

Psychological Factors

  • Weight management can be challenging if troubled by stress and other concerns.
  • You need to work on these issues to be successful with your weight management.
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Energy In/Energy Out

  • An imbalance of calories in and calories burned may cause weight gain.
  • Long daily commutes and desk jobs make it harder to get physical activity.
  • Not all communities have safe spaces to run, bike or walk.
  • Small bouts of increased physical activity throughout the day can be beneficial.
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Sleep Deprivation

  • Some studies show a link between how much people sleep and how much people weigh.
  • In general, people who do not get enough sleep may weigh more than people who do.
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Appetite Signals/Hormones

  • Your body has hormones (chemicals in your body that control function and activity of tissues and organs) that help let you know if you are hungry or full..
  • The hormones that signal hunger and fullness do not always work correctly in people with obesity.
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Genetic Factors

  • Genes in your body can determine if you are more likely to have obesity.
  • Having these genes is not a reason to give up on losing weight. Weight-loss as small as 5 percent can improve your overall health.
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Prescription Medications

  • Some prescription medications can cause weight gain of up to several pounds each month.
  • Do not stop taking medications you think might be causing weight gain, but speak with your healthcare provider about other medication options.
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Environmental Factors

  • We are surrounded by television ads, billboards and images that promote the consumption of foods and beverages that are high in calories and fat.
  • Some neighborhoods have little or no access to fresh, healthy foods.
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