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Cause of Obesity

Often, we hear that losing weight is difficult. How does obesity come about?

Obesity is related to the intake and consumption of calories. Simply put, if you eat too much and move too little, the excess energy will be converted into fat. In modern times, people tend to have a diet high in calorie intake but low in physical activity, which makes them more likely to develop obesity.

Some foods contain a lot of calories, such as:

Fast food or processed food: high in fat and sugar
Alcoholic drinks: alcohol itself contains a lot of calories, and the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories
Drinks (including restaurant beverages and bubble tea): generally high in sugar
Desserts: high in sugar
If you frequently consume these types of food, your calorie intake may be higher than the average person, and you will need more physical activity to compensate. However, people in modern times are generally less active. The normal intake of calories is determined by daily activities and basal metabolic rate; to maintain a normal weight, an active adult male requires an average of about 2200 calories per day, and an active adult female requires about 1800 calories per day. However, people in modern times are generally less active, and the required calorie intake is generally lower than these levels. More importantly, to improve obesity, a much higher amount of physical activity is required than what is considered normal. With high-calorie intake habits, calories are even harder to burn, and they eventually turn into fat.

In addition to diet and obesity, there are other factors that can lead to obesity, such as certain genetic problems and diseases.

Genetic problems:
Some obesity caused by genes may not be improved by diet or exercise, including Prader-Willi syndrome and melanocortin 4 receptor deficiency, but these genetic problems are not common.
Another type is epigenetics, which is the change in gene expression without changes in the genetic code. Fetuses generally rely on their mother to obtain nutrition. If a pregnant woman is overweight or obese (especially with gestational diabetes), the nutrients transported to the fetus will contain more glucose, lipids, fatty acids, and amino acids. Over time, this may change the gene expression of the fetus, which could increase the risk of obesity or other diseases in the future.

Other health issues:
Certain diseases can also lead to obesity, including hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome (excess cortisol). Generally, after treating these diseases, obesity problems will improve. In addition, some medications can cause weight gain, including steroids, medications for epilepsy control, diabetes medications, and psychiatric medications. However, patients can still improve obesity through diet and exercise.