05 Aug 10 Possible Causes of the Obesity Epidemic
It’s well accepted that reduced physical activity and poor dietary choices are linked to obesity. However the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely circumstantial and still need conclusive evidence to support these two conceptual theories. To stimulate debate, experts have suggested 10 other possible causes of obesity,and these were outlined in the International Journal of Obesity.
Listed below are the 10 other reasons that the experts have suggested as theoritical reasons for the rise of obesity internationally
1. Sleep debt. Getting too little sleep can increase body weight. Today, many get less shut-eye than ever.
2. Pollution. Hormones control body weight. And many of today’s pollutants affect our hormones.
3. Air conditioning. You have to burn calories if your environment is too hot or too cold for comfort. But more people than ever live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
4. Decreased smoking. Smoking reduces weight. People smoke much less than they used to.
5. Medicine. Many different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.
6. Population age, ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
7. Older moms. There’s some evidence that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women are giving birth at older and older ages.
8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may go back two generations. Environmental changes that made a grandparent obese may “through a fetally driven positive feedback loop” visit obesity on the grandchildren.
9. Obesity linked to fertility. There’s some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women tend to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, there will be still more obese people in the next generation.
These other contributing factors deserve more attention and more studies. Other explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; and hormones used in agriculture.
What do you think can be attributed to the epidemic? Leave us comments we would love to hear from you?