With the steady rise of obesity in the US, understanding the primary causes of obesity in women can keep you from becoming a statistic, and get you on the right track to fitness.
If your body mass index (bmi) is 30 or higher,you’re considered obese, not just overweight. The BMI is the most popularly used tool for estimating what your healthy weight should be by comparing your current weight to your height. Obesity statistics indicate that about 34% of women in the US fall into the obese category.
Below are 4 common causes of obesity for women:
Science has found that diets high in fat, salt and sugar (like fast food diets) are directly linked to obesity. That doesn’t mean that all obese people have “fast food” diets, but it does indicate that if you have a fast food diet, you are very likely to have significant weight issues. Science has also linked portion size to obesity. In many cases, people that typically eat oversized portions at meal time will be at a higher risk for obesity.
Unfortunately, some of us have a family history of chronic illness, and obesity can be one of them. People with slower metabolisms can find weight loss and maintenance more difficult than an average person. If you inherit a sluggish metabolism, insulin insensitivity or even diabetes, you are in a higher risk category for obesity and need medical, and possibly dietary, intervention early on to prevent obesity.
3. Lack of Exercise
Another scientific link to obesity is a lack of physical exercise. That does not mean you must have a strict daily workout schedule to keep from becoming obese; it means that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity. You have to spend a majority of your day moving instead of sitting (at computers, in front of the tv, playing video games. etc.). If you are someone that rarely takes the stairs, never walks further than the car to the door and has no outdoor hobbies, you’re probably leading a sedentary lifestyle.
4. Medical Abnormalities
Frequently, otherwise healthy people will suddenly start to gain weight rapidly, without deviating from their normal diet or exercise routine. That could be a sign of a medical problem (like hyperthyroidism or diabetes) or a hormone imbalance. Under those circumstances, you should consult a physician immediately.
Effects and Treatment of Obesity
As if the stigma associated with obesity isn’t bad enough, it can lead to terrible health problems for your body including:
- high blood pressure and cholesterol
- heart disease and stroke
- type II diabetes
- sleep apnea
- fertility and pregnancy problems
The good new is that obesity is treatable! Your first concern is to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing your weight problem. If there are no medical issues, your doctor can prescribe dietary therapy (removing the salt, fat and sugar from your diet and replacing them with healthier choices), exercise therapy and even drug therapy (used in combination with diet and exercise) to bring your BMI into a normal range.
In only the most severe cases, obesity surgery is recommended.