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What is Obesity ?

Initiated by Dr. Praveen Raj

obesity patient 2


Unlike most disease, Obesity doesn't have a single cause; there are several. Recent research suggests that the rise in obesity is primarily due to altered, sedentary lifestyles, high calorie diets and reduced physical activity secondary to globalisation, Some of the most common causes of obesity are as follows:


It has been scientifically shown that heredity influences the distribution of fat tissue. Moreover, weight regulation in the human body depends upon various genetically determined factors such as hormones. Any abnormality in these factors could result in substantial weight gain. Almost 60% of obese people are said to have inherited this condition. There are several genetic conditions that also contribute or lead to weight gain. But this more often blamed as the cause, and these are definitely reversible.


In rare cases, some may develop obesity secondary to certain hormonal disorders. This includes diseases like Cushing syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism in men and polycystic ovarian syndrome in women and hypothalamic lesions like tumours.


Certain drugs like steroids, sulfonylureas for diabetes, steroidal contraceptives and antiepileptics such as valproate may cause weight gain. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers like lithium are also known to possess the same properties. Even certain unapproved medications for weight loss may cause increase in weight and hence not recommended.


Depression is most often associated with binge eating and may lead on accumulation of weight. The relationship between obesity and one's emotional set-up is now widely recognized. Over time this becomes a repetitive process and eventually leads to obesity.


The food inflation may be high but still the world today is more affluent than it ever was, and people have access to a multitude of dietary options. People nowadays are also less active than their predecessors, however the calorific content of their diet hasn't decreased; instead it has increased. Diets around the world have drastically changed; we have transitioned from a high-protein, high-fat diet to a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Moreover, the consumption of empty-calorie foods like alcohol, aerated drinks, candies, cookies, chocolates etc. has also risen sharply. All of this, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, makes the ideal combination for susceptibility to obesity and diabetes.

Causes of Obesity and How obesity can affect you ?

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© 2017 GEM Obesity & Diabetes Surgery Centre - Updated by GEM Hospital IT Department