What Causes Obesity?

Obesity has become a worldwide pandemic. An estimated three of twenty eight million Malaysians are obese, making it the country with the highest obesity rate in Southeast Asia.Obesity

Sedentary lifestyle

Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can cause obesity.  When your body is not working efficiently to burn calories, you gain weight. The World Health Organization recommends getting a minimum of 2 ½ hours of exercise weekly. Everyday conveniences that we all take advantage of have made it easy to be inactive. Walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further away in the lot are small things to do that supplement your daily activity and improve weight loss.


Fast food, portion size, high calories and fatty foods or beverages all directly relate to obesity. Society has found it easy to supplement their diet with empty calories. Although convenient, processed fast food is usually higher in fat, sugar, and calories. The portion sizes are also much bigger than the recommended intake in one sitting. Fast food tends to be very low in nutritional value. High caloric soda and sugar-based drinks (such as iced coffee) also add up. The fat that is not burned by the body is stored in fat cells. People with diets high in fat and sugar tend to have higher blood sugar, which causes them to eat more often. Keeping these foods to a minimum are a must for weight loss and a healthy body. Nutritional foods should be the basis of a healthy diet, not a supplement to a poor diet.

Medical problems

Unfortunately, certain medical problems result in weight gain and make weight loss challenging. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome (both endocrine system disorders) and Prader-Willi syndrome (an uncommon genetic disease) are the top three offenders that cause extra weight and lead to obesity. Extra weight can also accumulate when suffering from medical conditions that make it uncomfortable or difficult to exercise, such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease,  or various respiratory and autoimmune problems.

Lack of sleep

For the average person, seven hours of continuous sleep per night allows the body to do its job efficiently.  Sleep deprivation causes low energy and metabolism, which signals the brain that it is hungry. When tired, people tend to eat or drink substances that will give them quick energy, such as chips or a soda. However, the high sugar load only fools the body temporarily into thinking it has energy.Soon after comes the sugar crash and hunger regain. The same is true with taking an energy supplement. Weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight must coincide with a good night’s rest. Another condition known as night eating syndrome (NES), has also been linked to obesity. NES is when a person eats more than half of their daily caloric intake after dinner. Often these people wake up during the night and are not able to go back to sleep until they eat. Since your body is at rest during the night, it is not able to burn the calories off as rapid as when awake and active.

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