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Obesity risk factors

Obesity itself becoming an epidemic problem in many countries and all obesity risk factors are becoming very important for healthy society. Risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to have obesity with or without risk factors but the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing obesity.

Obesity risk factors – Wrong Food & Poor Diet

High-calorie, low-nutrient foods are equal to more calories which could become the risk factor for potential obesity. Eating until you are full and eating quickly also could be obesity risk factors. Fast food has high risk for obesity especially if fast food is used regularly.

If you are pregnant, your diet may also affect your child’s risk of obesity. For example, skipping breakfast and smoking may increase your child’s risk of becoming obese.

Children may also be at risk for becoming obese if they do not eat their regular meals (breakfast, dinner, supper) with their family but eat snacks at different times of day (not-controlled eating).

Obesity risk factors – Passive Mindless Eating

Obesity risk factors - Passive Mindless Eating

Obesity risk factors – Passive Mindless Eating

It’s not only important what we eat but it is also very important what we’re doing when we’re eating. Passive eating in front of TV or computer not only burn limited calories but also increase food intake in the absence of hunger.

The obesity risk factors include not controlled eating during watching sports on TV, during parties and other social events, during computer games or Internet activities. Each person can easily identify that obesity risk factors and avoid it for preventing the obesity.

Healthy solution is healthy lifestyle including eating the right foods in the right quantities, staying active, getting a good night’s sleep, and having the proper amount of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D.

Obesity risk factors – Dietary Habits

Eating habits could be the main reason for obesity.

Night-Eating Syndrome is defined as absence of appetite in the morning, insomnia, and consuming more than half of the daily food intake after 6 p.m. It is associated with obesity and is difficult to treat without the special motivation of the person. Often that type of eating is correlating with chronic stress and stress management could be the solution.

Binge Eating and Eating Disorders mean that the person is a binge eater and typically consume 5000 – 10000 calories in one sitting. Actually it is addiction. To be diagnosed as a binge eater, a person has to binge at least twice a week for 6 months.
Other eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia is binge eating followed by purging in order to lose weight. A combined approach using behavioral therapy and antidepressants may help these individuals.

Restrained Eating is typical for middle-aged women who have normal weight and follow a pattern called restrained eating. This pattern requires a high level of conscious control and usually maintains a lower weight. However, such restraint places these individuals at higher risk for loss of control and subsequent overeating.

Infrequent Eating also is considered as a risk factor for obesity – eating small frequent meals uses more calories than infrequent large meals. In reality in these cases people simply eat more than they should.

Obesity risk factors – Lack of Sleep

Scientists discovered that lack of sleep could be a cause of obesity. Even though sleep is the most sedentary activity of all and burns the least amount of calories – one minute of sleep burns just one calorie on average – yet researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Canada recently found that not getting enough sleep can play a big role in weight gain.

Several factors can explain this finding. For one, the less a person sleeps, the more time one has for doing other things like eating. Also, feeling tired and fatigued can discourage us from wanting to hit the gym. The physiological component of this phenomenon is that restricting sleep causes a decrease in the hormone leptin, which helps the brain recognize that the stomach is full. Additionally, lack of sleep increases the release of the hormone ghrelin, an appetite stimulant that makes us want to eat more.

Daily not interrupted sleep during 7-8 hours is strongly recommended for adults and 10-11 hours for adolescents.

Obesity risk factors – Lack of Physical Activity

For healthy normal weight each person need to burn daily used calories (“programme minimum”) and/or more calories than used (“programme optimal”). If you don’t get enough physical activity (exercise), you are likely to burn fewer calories than you eat each day, thus increasing your risk of becoming obese.

Obesity risk factors – Profession & Shifting

Some professions require working shifts at different times of the day and night which is increasing the risk for obesity. Individuals who work late shifts (between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m.) tend to eat more and take longer naps than day workers, and they are more likely to gain excess weight. People with that type of professions should be very careful with quality and quantity of food and adequate physical activities.
Office workers, drivers, and people who sit for long periods are also at higher risk for obesity.

Obesity risk factors – Medical Conditions & Medications

It is well known that certain medications (for example, corticoids) and some diseases (for example, rare hereditary diseases, hypothyroidism, PCOS, Cushing’s disease, etc.) increase risk of obesity. Actually obesity could be one of typical symptoms of several diseases.

Obesity risk factors – Smoking

Many smokers believe that if they quit smoking, the quitting will increase their weight. Butr it is important to highlight that this situation is easy to overcome by reducing consuming food calories and increasing physical activities.

It was discovered that if you are pregnant, smoking may increase your child’s risk of becoming obese.

Obesity risk factors – Age

It is well known that the obesity incidents are doubled between the ages of 20 and 55. Gaining some weight is common with age, and adding about 10 pounds to a normal base weight over time is not harmful. Often women in menopause are suffering from obesity. However, this may be related to a decrease in activity levels. By age 55, the average American has added nearly 40 pounds of fat during the course of adulthood. This condition is made worse by the fact that muscle and bone mass decrease with age.

Obesity risk factors – Race

Some ethnic groups are more predisposed to obesity – women of Afro-Carribean origin are more likely to be obese There is a higher incidence of obesity among certain races or ethnic groups. In the US, obesity affects 66% of middle-aged black women and 68% of Mexican American women, compared with 45% of white women.

Obesity risk factors – Genetics & Family History

Sometimes the obesity may run in families. If parents are overweight, their child may be at a higher risk of being overweight, as well. Parental obesity more than doubles the risk that a young child, whether thin or overweight, will become obese as an adult. Both genetic and lifestyle factors could play a role in the child’s excess weight. At the same time some rare hereditary diseases could increase the risk of obesity because of changed metabolism.

Obesity risk factors – Environment

It is well known that populations that exist in environments where there is easy access to cheap tasty food are likely to show a greater prevalence of obesity. Likewise where energy-saving technology exists (cars, washing machines etc.) the energy expenditure in physical activity is likely to be low, pre-disposing to obesity

Obesity risk factors – Lack of Calcium

Dairy products may be good for teeth and bones — they may just help keep our obesity risk in check. Most adults should aim for 1,000 mg of calcium per day – ideally through diet, rather than supplements – to get the extra benefits of protein and other bioactive ingredients found in foods. It is important to mention that body can’t reap the benefits of calcium without enough vitamin D. Fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and fish such as salmon and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin D.

Obesity risk factors – Gender

In women, weight tends to increase until age 70 before it plateaus. There are three high-risk periods for weight gain in women:

  • The first is at the onset of menstruation, particularly if it is early.
  • The second is after pregnancy, with higher risk for women who are already overweight.
  • Finally, many women gain weight after menopause.

These findings are significant because they may allow women to target high-risk times, and consequently prevent unnecessary weight gain.

Obesity risk factors –Economic Group

Obesity is more prevalent in lower economic groups. Low income women and their families tend to have fewer fruits and vegetables and are actually taking in more calories a day than higher-income women. In general calorie controlled food are more expensive.

Obesity risk factors – Disabilities

Obesity rates are higher than average in people with physical or mental disabilities. Those with disabilities in the lower part of the body, such as the legs, are at highest risk.

Obesity risk factors – Chronic Mental illnesses

People who have a chronic mental illness are at high risk for obesity and diabetes, most likely due to their lifestyle. In addition, many of the medications used to treat chronic mental illnesses can cause weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes.

Obesity risk factors – Lifestyle

Negative elements of the modern life are recognized as obesity risk factors:

  • Excessive television watching;
  • Sugar, particularly from soda, other sweetened beverages, and fruit juice, may be the major contributor to obesity;
  • Less physical exercise and greater sedentary activities play another significant role in obesity.

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