August 5, 2016 Posted by Tiffany Wilson

Causes of Obesity in Adults

Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States, the Western world and the world as a whole. According to the Surgeon General, an estimated 300,000 deaths are caused by obesity each year, making it the second leading cause of preventable death after tobacco use, which kills an estimated 440,000 persons per year in the United States alone.

With so much at stake, it is crucial to understand the leading causes of obesity, as well as the tactics and strategies that can be employed to combat it, read more Better nutrition, additional exercise and even the judicious and careful use of weight loss pills are all valid strategies that can be used to combat excess weight and obesity, either independently of each other but ideally together.

Obesity is always explained, in the simplest possible way, as the result of consuming too much energy (food) in comparison to what is expended (exercise). This first tenet of obesity can be compounded and made worse by genetic predispositions, but the basic fact remains: a pound - 454 grams - of fat is 3,500 calories; if you have a 3,500 calorie deficit at the end of the week, you will have lost a pound, and if the reverse is true, you'll have gained one.

This reality about obesity has always been true, but its large scale application over entire populations has been made possible by the advent of food over-processing and inexpensive food additives, as well as by increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Case in point is the fact that an overwhelming majority of the population - over 75% in all Western countries - work in the tertiary sector (the services industry), while participation in the primary and secondary sectors (agriculture and manufacturing) are at all-time lows. This proportion has been completely inversed from only a century ago, when over 60% of the population worked in agriculture-related fields.

Here are a few of the major contributing factors to obesity. None of these can by itself be called a 'cause'; the use of the term 'obesity facilitators' would be more appropriate in this instance.

Processed Food - Processed food has been refined in some way through an industrial process; in general, this tends to strip the food of its nutrients in order to 'package' it better, whether for taste, texture or appearance. In general terms, the closer the food is to its natural state, the better it is.

Junk Food - Junk food is food that has been processed to the extreme. It is always worthwhile to remember that fast food companies are after profit, not your health. Junk food will be saturated with fat, salt or sugar in a way to make it as tasty as possible; any health benefits touted by fast food companies are incidental and planned as so to get you to buy, not to help you be healthy. Anyone wanting to lose weight or combat obesity should never eat junk food, or at best consider it a rare treat.

Television - Americans adults watch television at the rate of 145 hours a month, on average. This is close to the time spent on a full time job (172 hours per month), and at a modest rate of $5 per hour, represents over two trillion dollars' worth of time wasted, every year.

There is little that can be done about obesity by any individual at the national level, but with this as with everything, all change starts at home. Recognizing and accepting the true causes of obesity - not stress, not genetics, etc - but over-eating and under-exercising is the most important thing; afterwards, simple, easy and gradual lifestyle changes will do most of the work to make the pounds fall off.