What causes someone to become overweight or obese?

You can become overweight or obese when you eat more calories than you use. A calorie is a unit of energy in the food you eat. Your body needs this energy to function and to be active. But if you take in more energy than your body uses, you will gain weight.

Many factors can play a role in becoming overweight or obese. These factors include:

Behaviors, such as eating too many calories or not getting enough physical activity Environment and culture Genes

Overweight and obesity problems keep getting worse in the United States. Some cultural reasons for this include:

Bigger portion sizes Little time to exercise or cook healthy meals Using cars to get places instead of walking

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center

Other than a medical condition or family heritage, consistently eating more food/calories then you use or burn off, creating excess calories, will lead you to obesity.

In addition to our increasing sedentary lifestyle, recent research has suggest that adults not involved in exercise program will lose about 5 pounds of muscle per decade, while at the same time adding 15 pounds of fat per decade.

Unless you watch your calories consumption and are active in an exercise program, you may be at risk for obesity in your future.

Generally speaking, you become overweight when you take in more calories than your body needs to maintain a healthy weight.

You can calculate your daily caloric needs by using your basal metabolic rate plus the calories burned with exercise and daily activities.  Estimate your BMR by multiplying your body weight by 10.  A 140 pound woman would have an estimated BMR of 1400.  Next add calorie values of 20 to 40% if you are sedentary, 50% if you are moderately active or 70% if you are active to obtain your daily caloric total.  To lose weight, aim to cut 500 calories per day through diet and/or exercise.

What causes people to be overweight or obese can be a number of factors.  Really the main factor for being overweight is lack of exercise.  Unfortunately most people don't exercise as much as they should.  Another problem is that as you get older your metabolism also slows down.  Now other medical problems like a slow thryroid can affect this too but can be overcome easily.  Most people just don't know what they should do or how much they should do it to keep the weight off.  If you don't have any medical issues consult a personal trainer to see what you need to do to lose the weight.  However if it is medical consult your doctor to find out what you need to do to correct the problem.  Bottom line if you don't do anything nothing will change.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.