What are Common Causes of Obesity in Adults?

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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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With more and more people around the world being diagnosed with obesity, it is important to understand what is causing this outbreak of obesity in adults. Research has shown that major causes of obesity in adults includes an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and genetic factors. Some research has even found that certain medical conditions can cause obesity, including thyroid conditions, heart disorders, and psychological problems.

One of the primary causes of obesity in adults is related to diet. Typically, in order to maintain normal body functions and have the energy necessary to perform daily activities, the average adult must consume around 2,000 calories per day. Consuming more than this basic requirement can lead to severe weight gain and even obesity. Research has found that diets rich in fat may be primarily to blame for increases in obesity. Avoiding high-fat foods and sticking to fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains is an effective way to prevent obesity in adults.


Another major contributor to obesity in adults is related to a general lack of activity. While there is no question that an increased calorie intake is definitely cause for concern, an increase in the amount of exercise done by both adults and children could counter any significant increase in the number of calories consumed. However, instead of increasing exercise as caloric intake rises, research has found that people tend to decrease the amount of physical activity that they participate in. Unfortunately, this doesn't have to be the case. Study after study has found that while people may believe their lives are too busy to fit in an exercise session, the amount of time spent watching TV or playing video games has risen substantially.

Genetics are also strongly to blame for obesity in adults. While this can often be a difficult pill to swallow, studies have shown that children who are born to overweight or obese parents have a 30% greater chance of developing the condition than children who are born to thin parents.

Finally, certain medical problems may be to blame for some cases of obesity. While only around 2% of the population can hold a medical condition responsible for their obesity, this is still a staggeringly large number. Some medical conditions that can contribute to weight gain include thyroid conditions, heart disorders, and even certain psychological problems. Fortunately, the side effects of these conditions, such as obesity, can often disappear once the primary condition has been treated.



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