Most people will tell you that obesity in quite simply a case of eating too much food and not taking enough exercise. But can it really be as simple as that? Surely the causes of obesity must be a little bit more complex than that.
Causes Of Obesity – Diet And Lifestyle
Well, there can be little doubt that much of the today’s obesity is indeed the result of little more than our modern diet and lifestyle. Fast food, convenience foods, take-away and leisure time spent playing computer games or sitting in front of the television accounts for much of the rise in adult obesity, as well as the dramatic rise in juvenile obesity.
It is well known that that the body requires a certain amount of energy to function and it gets that energy from the food we consume. Exactly how much energy the body needs varies from one individual to the next and depends on numerous factors including our level of activity. For example, a secretary who spends her day sitting behind a desk will need less energy than a bricklayer who spends his day running up and down ladders carrying bricks.
If we put more energy into the body than it needs then the ‘extra’ energy is simply stored as fat. Now this fact is well understood, but what is less well understood is just how rapidly fat can build up in the body.
Take for example a slightly overweight 40 year old, carrying about 15 pounds of extra fat, and an obese 40 year old carrying about 100 pounds on additional fat. In both cases they have gained weight gradually over many years. But just how much overeating could produce these results?
The slightly overweight 40 year old could put on this sort of weight by overeating to the tune of just 4 calories a day. In other words by consuming one apple too many about every two and a half weeks. Our obese 40 year old could similarly have reached obesity with as little as 25 calories too much each day. In other words by eating one apple too many about every three days. Imagine what would happen when our apples are replaced by hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and soda!
Causes of Obesity – Other Factors
Now this is of course this is only one of the causes of obesity and we shouldn’t assume that adult and juvenile obesity results solely from a combination of overeating and taking too little exercise.
Nevertheless, although there are other causes of obesity, it would also be wrong to draw up a long list of alternative causes and to suggest that these are equally responsible for causing obesity. While other factors do play a role when it comes to obesity, there can be little doubt that bad eating habits and a lack of exercise are the main causes of obesity today.