Obesity is causes by people not exercising enough and eating too much. Everybody knows that. What not everybody knows, however, is that there are also a number of other causes that may be of importance. Let’s take a look at some of the other contributing factors to obesity.
Having Multiple Children Causes Obesity
Fatter people, usually, have more children. This was concluded by a study completed by Minot State University, based in North Dakota. It showed that there is a correlation between reproductive rates and BMI, albeit a small one. The study concluded that the average amount of children for normal weight women was 3.2, whereas it was 3.5 for women who are overweight.
However, the question then becomes like the chicken and the egg: do women gain weight because they have children, or do women who are heavy have more children? While no conclusions have been scientifically drawn yet, it is likely to be both. Some of the reasons for this include:
- Women with more children sleep less and lack of sleep is associated with obesity.
- Obese women are more often of a lower socioeconomic status, and people of this demographic usually have higher birth rates.
Being Older Causes Obesity
Older people are more likely to be fatter. This was concluded by the US National Center for Health Statistics, who saw that those between 40 and 79 were three times more likely to be overweight than those younger than 40. This is because, the older we get, the slower our metabolism becomes.
Temperature Causes Obesity
People who stay in a comfortable temperature require less energy to sustain themselves. Hence, they are more likely to be overweight. Those who are in hot environments burn more energy and eat less, although it is not clear why they eat less.
Cutting Down on Smoking Causes Obesity
Smokers tend to be thinner. This is, firstly, because smoking is an appetite suppressant. Additionally, smoking burns an average of 200 calories per day. Then, there is the fact that people who try to stop smoking often start eating instead, even if they only cut down on their nicotine levels. The result of all of this put together is that ex-smokers have contributed at least in part to the obesity epidemic.
Pollution Causes Obesity
The environment is also a contributing factor to obesity. Unfortunately, this is an inescapable one. There are various industrial chemicals in our food and water and in every product we use, but also in the air we breathe. Some of these chemicals, and particularly those in the food we eat, disrupt the endocrine receptors, which in turn affect hormone receptors, particularly oestrogen. This, again, can lead to weight gain.
Drugs Cause Obesity
We live in a drug epidemic, where people are prescribed one drug after another, often to combat the side effects of other drug. Unfortunately, one very poorly addressed side effect of the majority of prescription drugs is weight gain. Statins, prescribed for high blood pressure, are a particular culprit, but so are contraceptive pills, HIV drugs, endometriosis medication and diabetes medications.