Adult obesity can be caused by certain diseases, and it is even possible for a person to be genetically predisposed to obesity. Even so, by far the most common cause of adult obesity is a combination of poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. Those behaviors can themselves be caused by family history or even someone's upbringing, giving adult obesity the appearance of a genetic disorder. Most adults who are obese must work extremely hard to return to a healthy weight, but sometimes if a disease is involved, obesity cannot be solved by lifestyle improvements alone.
In most cases, adults do not become obese out of the blue. Most adults who are obese have been overweight or even obese their entire lives. Frequently, a lifetime of poor eating habits adds up over time and makes changing extremely difficult. Even so, decreasing the number of calories consumed and increasing the amount of calories burned should produce results in these cases because they are uncomplicated by diseases.
Sometimes, adult obesity is a side effect of a medication, or it is a component of a disease. Hypothyroidism or hyperphagia, for example, can both cause increased eating and weight gain. When a condition causes sudden weight gain, it is often easy to recognize in adults. Unfortunately, when a condition has existed for a long time, it can be much harder to pinpoint the cause of the weight gain.
Adult obesity can also be a symptom of psychological illness. Addiction to food and eating is a serious problem that can develop out of emotional issues. Depression can also result in extreme weight gain. While the solution for weight gain due to psychological issues is simple diet and exercise, it can be nearly impossible to put those plans into action when someone is severely mentally ill. As such, the underlying psychological cause must be addressed before the weight problem can be resolved.
It can be extremely difficult to identify an isolated cause of adult obesity in any individual case because obesity often causes a number of additional problems, some of which make the problem even worse. Also, it can be difficult to tell the difference between obesity that is learned and obesity that is inherited genetically. The best remedy for adult obesity is to prevent becoming obese in the first place, as it can be extremely difficult to get back on the path to health after a bout of obesity. If this approach is no longer possible and self-control cannot be exercised in order to overcome the disorder, extreme measures such as gastric bypass surgery can be used to help an obese adult lose weight.