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Causes & Symptoms of Obesity


The reasons for developing obesity can be many. The description below gives some of the major causes for developing obesity:

  1. High calorie consumption: Calorie is the unit of energy consumption of the body. On an average, a man requires 2500 calories and woman needs 2000 calories in a day. Food items containing carbohydrates contain very high calorie content. Even a small quantity of such food items can quench the energy needs for the entire day.

    However, lifestyle changes have resulted in the intake of sweetened drinks & other junk food has increased the carbohydrate intake in many persons. This has resulted in more glucose being piled up as fat, leading to obesity.

  2. Sedentary lifestyle: Development of obesity takes place over a period of time. More and more facilities are being developed everyday to better life. These technical advances have indeed eased the way of living, but in some ways they also have created problems. Sedentary lifestyle is one such problem.

    This condition is characterized by prolonged periods of inactivity. Inactivity reduces the rate of burning up of fat. This results in more and more fat accumulation, leading to obesity.

  3. Inadequate sleep: The amount of sleep has a direct impact on obesity. The obesity risk doubles if the sleep is inadequate. Sleep deprivation is said to cause several hormonal changes. These changes are linked to an increased appetite. The sensation therefore causes more unwanted food to be consumed paving away to obesity.
  4. Endocrine disruptors: There are some food items that interfere with the normal metabolism. An example is a certain kind of fructose that is normally present in beverages. The fructose is reported to modify the metabolism of lipids, which results in obesity.


A slightly overweight situation can result in certain noticeable symptoms. These are short term symptoms. However for obesity, lifelong symptoms may be present. The saddening fact is that when these symptoms are continuously present, the persons may mistake these as a part of routine and may neglect treatment.

For an obese person, the following symptoms may be seen:

  • Breathlessness: Even normal movement can result in shortness of breath. For obese persons, extra energy has to be taken for movement, because they have overcome their own large mass. For this increased energy requirement, the rate of respiration increases for breaking down more glucose.

    Extra deposit of fat near the chest & neck leads to more shallow breaths. This is due to the restricted air passage.

  • Exhaustion: Oxygen supply to blood decreases when there is difficulty in breathing. This affects the normal activity level of the person. Obese people need to put in more strain for activities like walking upstairs, taking weight etc.

    A normal person can remain active for certain duration. This duration is decreased for an obese person.

  • Muscular & joint problems: The weight bearing portions and their supportive parts works harder for an obese person. Stiffness and swelling becomes more common. Obese persons may be in an inappropriate posture most of the times.