Why people become overweight - Harvard Health
Americans view obese women, more so than overweight men, Previous research has shown that overweight women tend to date less, But compared with other appearance factors, excess weight draws extra scrutiny. Being obese increases a child's risk for some serious childhood medical a big difference in the amount of food eaten and physical activity between obese and . of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and provides up-to-date, accurate. To date, more than different genes have been implicated in the causes of overweight or obesity, although only a handful appear to be.
Environmental causes of obesity Genetic factors are the forces inside you that help you gain weight and stay overweight; environmental factors are the outside forces that contribute to these problems. They encompass anything in our environment that makes us more likely to eat too much or exercise too little.
Taken together, experts think that environmental factors are the driving force for the dramatic increase in obesity.
Environmental influences come into play very early, even before you're born. Researchers sometimes call these in-utero exposures "fetal programming. The same is true for babies born to mothers who had diabetes. Researchers believe these conditions may somehow alter the growing baby's metabolism in ways that show up later in life. After birth, babies who are breast-fed for more than three months are less likely to have obesity as adolescents compared with infants who are breast-fed for less than three months.
Childhood habits often stick with people for the rest of their lives. Kids who drink sugary sodas and eat high-calorie, processed foods develop a taste for these products and continue eating them as adults, which tends to promote weight gain.
Likewise, kids who watch television and play video games instead of being active may be programming themselves for a sedentary future. Many features of modern life promote weight gain. In short, today's "obesogenic" environment encourages us to eat more and exercise less. And there's growing evidence that broader aspects of the way we live — such as how much we sleep, our stress levels, and other psychological factors — can affect weight as well.
Between andthe average man added calories to his daily fare, while the average woman added calories a day. What's driving this trend? Experts say it's a combination of increased availability, bigger portions, and more high-calorie foods. Practically everywhere we go — shopping centers, sports stadiums, movie theaters — food is readily available.
You can buy snacks or meals at roadside rest stops, hour convenience stores, even gyms and health clubs. Americans are spending far more on foods eaten out of the home: In the s, fast-food restaurants offered one portion size.
Today, portion sizes have ballooned, a trend that has spilled over into many other foods, from cookies and popcorn to sandwiches and steaks. A typical serving of French fries from McDonald's contains three times more calories than when the franchise began.
The Truth About Fat Women and Self-Control
A single "super-sized" meal may contain 1,—2, calories — all the calories that most people need for an entire day. And research shows that people will often eat what's in front of them, even if they're already full. Not surprisingly, we're also eating more high-calorie foods especially salty snacks, soft drinks, and pizzawhich are much more readily available than lower-calorie choices like salads and whole fruits. Fat isn't necessarily the problem; in fact, research shows that the fat content of our diet has actually gone down since the early s.
But many low-fat foods are very high in calories because they contain large amounts of sugar to improve their taste and palatability.
Overweight and dating; the truth can be harsh
In fact, many low-fat foods are actually higher in calories than foods that are not low fat. The exercise equation The government's current recommendations for exercise call for an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. Our daily lives don't offer many opportunities for activity.
Children don't exercise as much in school, often because of cutbacks in physical education classes. Many people drive to work and spend much of the day sitting at a computer terminal. Because we work long hours, we have trouble finding the time to go to the gym, play a sport, or exercise in other ways.
Obesity & Overweight: Your Child: University of Michigan Health System
Instead of walking to local shops and toting shopping bags, we drive to one-stop megastores, where we park close to the entrance, wheel our purchases in a shopping cart, and drive home. The widespread use of vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, leaf blowers, and a host of other appliances takes nearly all the physical effort out of daily chores.
The trouble with TV: Sedentary snacking The average American watches about four hours of television per day, a habit that's been linked to overweight or obesity in a number of studies. Smith in a new literature review published online Jan. It's that perceived lack of self-discipline that leads to prejudicesaid Smith, of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
But because many people think weight is controllable, "for large folks, there doesn't tend to be the sympathy factor. Previous research has shown that overweight women tend to date less, marry less often, and earn lower salaries than thin women. However, thin, unattractive women suffer similarly deleterious economic and social effects.
It's been a challenge for researchers to determine whether prejudice against heavy women is due to their weight in particular, or merely the more general diminished attractiveness associated with that weight. Although heavy men and women alike suffer prejudice, "it appears to happen a little bit more for women," said Janna Fikkan, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Duke University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the current research.
As kids move into adolescence, their levels of activity tend to drop too low. Do active things together as a family, like bike riding, hiking, walking and swimming. Here are some great ideas in print, audio and Spanish for helping to get your child and your family more active. Build activity into your family's daily life with household chores, walking to school, parking farther from buildings and taking the stairs.
Decreasing inactivity works better for long-term weight loss than focusing on vigorous aerobic exercise.
It's also an easier lifestyle change for your family to make! Make sure your kid gets outside during daylight hours. You could make it a policy in your family that unless the weather is bad, your children play outdoors after school.Man thinks about divorcing his obese wife. [Hello Counselor / 2017.08.14]
This encourages physical activity, and rules out the inactive pursuits of TV and other media. For more information and tips: For more practical tips, see what our own Dr.
Gahagan has to say about how parents can fight obesity in their kids. It includes many useful tips and resources. What if everything you suggest does not seem to be working? MPOWERis a comprehensive program that helps kids motivate, build confidence, and create new lifestyle habits.
A weight-control program should: Have the overriding goal of helping the whole family make and maintain healthy changes in their eating and activity habits. Have dieticians, exercise physiologists, doctors, and either psychiatrists or psychologists on staff.
Perform a medical evaluation of your child—including weight, growth, and health—before starting the program, and at regular intervals throughout the program. Be developmentally appropriate for the age and capabilities of your child. Focus on behavior changes.
Teach your child how to choose a healthy variety of foods and the right size portion. Encourage daily physical activity. Include a maintenance program and other support and referrals.
Focus on your whole family—not just your overweight child. What books do you recommend? This is a book all parents should read, whether their children are overweight or not.
It applies to kids from birth through the teen years.