What can be the causes of obesity?
When energy intake exceeds expenditure, the excess calories are stored in adipose tissue, and if this bet positive balance is prolonged, obesity results.e. there are two components to weight balance and an abnormality on either side(intake or expenditure) can lead to obesity.
Appetite is controlled by discrete areas in the brain called hypothalamus. The feeding centres (areas in the brain) send positive signals to brain cortex that stimulates eating. There is another area of the brain called the satiety centre that modulates this process by sending inhibitory impulses to the feeding centre. Thus the destruction of the satiety centre will lead to overeating and obesity. obesity may follow due to damages to hypothalamus after head injury because it is unable to regulate appetite or satiety. The satiety centre may get activated by plasma glucose and/or insulin that follows a meal.
The total adipose tissue mass may also influence the hypothalamic center. Ultimately it is the brain cortex, which controls eating behavior. Psychological, social and genetic factors also influence food intake.
Eating habits of certain people can lead to obesity.
(i) Frequent consumption of high fatty food.
(ii) Nibbling between meals is common among housewives and is a potential cause for obesity.
(iii) Some may eat faster taking less time for chewing, therefore, they tend to consume more food.
(iv) Obese respond to external cues to eat rather than internal hunger signals. Instead of having food when they are hungry they eat when it is mealtime or are surrounded by tasty foods.
(v) Housewives who are fond of cooking variety of food or persons who are working in the kitchens may become obese.
(vi) A business executive who frequently attends business lunches has more chance of becoming obese.
(vii) People who do not want leftover foods to be thrown out may consume forcibly and put on weight.
Some may at more food in situations such as anxiety depression and frustration as a compensatory mechanism.
(i) Prosperity and civilizations: obesity is common in prosperous countries and people from the higher socioeconomic status of developing countries. They have the purchasing power and availability of surplus food. Civilization has brought a plentiful supply of appetizing foods and variety of foods in the market.
(ii) Parties and socialization: To maintain their social circle and also because of formality people often tend to eat a richer diet.
(iii) Job or profession: It may also affect, like housewives, cooks, chefs etc may eat more while models and air hostesses tend to eat less in order to maintain their figures.
(iv) Before/after marriage: Usually before marriage in order to maintain an impressive personality and appearance people make efforts to maintain proper weight and figure, while after marriage they may not be very concerned about it.
Genetic inheritance probably influences a person’s chance of becoming fat. Within families, the chances are 80% if both parents are obese, only 7% if either parent is obese.
ENDOCRINAL (HORMONAL) FACTORS.
Obesity is found in hypothyroidism, hypogonadism and Cushing’s syndrome. Obesity is common at puberty, pregnancy and menopause.