“I do not eat anything, but I still gain weight” – factors that contribute to obesity
We should start talking about this issue with a trivial phrase: a person’s weight depends on the balance of calories received and energy expended. When a person eats more calories than he consumes, the body converts excess energy into fat and stores it.
Therefore, the main cause of obesity is still excess calorie intake and hypodynamics. In addition, many factors are known to contribute to obesity.
Some of them are genetic. It has been established that a person whose one or both parents are obese has a higher risk of developing obesity. Genetic factors influence the hormones that are involved in the regulation of fat metabolism.
Excessive food intake is also an important factor. It is well known that overeating leads to weight gain. Especially when the food is rich in fats and sugars, more precisely, simple carbohydrates. It is true that the role of the latter is not fully understood, but the mechanism of their action can be described as follows: carbohydrate intake increases blood glucose, which stimulates insulin production by the pancreas, and insulin, in turn, leads to adipose tissue growth and weight gain.
According to some researchers, simple carbohydrates (sugar, fructose, sweets, sweetened beverages, beer, wine) are dangerous because they are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, live fruits, etc.) and therefore more insulin. Causes more intense secretion than complex carbohydrates, while high levels of insulin lead to weight gain. As you mentioned yourself, obese people often say they eat little.
In fact, they are rarely meant to be eaten. It has been established that there is an inverse relationship between feeding frequency and weight. Numerous studies confirm that obese people eat less often than those who have a normal body mass.
Scientists have found that those who eat small portions 4-5 times a day have lower cholesterol levels and more stable and lower blood sugar levels than those who consume large portions 2-3 times a day. One explanation for this pattern is that insulin levels in the blood are more stable during frequent fractional meals, and infrequent intake of large amounts of food after a meal causes sharp peaks in insulin content. One of the determinants of weight is the speed of metabolism.
It is known that women have less developed muscle mass than men, and muscle tissue burns more calories than other tissues. Because of this, women have a slower metabolism than men, are more prone to weight gain, and have more difficulty losing weight. It is noteworthy that women often gain weight during pregnancy and menopause. With age, muscle mass decreases and metabolism slows down.
This is why an elderly person can easily gain weight if the calorie intake of the food is not reduced. Lack of physical activity contributes to the onset of obesity. Hypodynamics have been found to be closely linked to being overweight in both sexes. We can not ignore the role of psychological factors. It has been established that many people change their eating habits dramatically in the face of emotional stress.
30% of patients who consult a doctor due to obesity have an excessive need to eat during stress. Sleep disorders are also important. It has been established that when a person sleeps less than 7 hours a night, the content of appetite-boosting hormones in the body changes. In addition, insomnia leads to cravings for high-calorie and carbohydrate-rich foods. Sometimes the cause of obesity is taking certain types of medications.
These include some antidepressants, some anticonvulsants, some diabetes medications (insulin, sulfosaccharide, thiazolidinediones), some hormonal medications, including birth control pills and prednisolone, but some contraceptives have some side effects. Weight gain is seen with some blood pressure medications and some ahtihistamine (anti-allergy) medications.
The age of onset of obesity and the speed of progression are also influenced by ethnic factors. It has been established that African-American and Hispanic women gain weight earlier than Caucasians and Asians, while Spanish men become obese earlier than African-Americans and Caucasians.
Childhood weight also affects the development of obesity in adulthood. When a person is overweight by the age of 20, it is expected to lose weight by the age of 35. Especially if the parents also complain of obesity. There are cases when obesity is a symptom of endocrine disease. These include diseases of the thyroid gland, Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovaries, but in addition to obesity, other symptoms also attract attention. Decreased content of thyroid hormones, which causes obesity due to a sharp decrease in the intensity of metabolism, along with obesity is characterized by general weakness, chills, prone to edema, hair loss, dry skin and more.
In Cushing’s syndrome, obesity is predominantly localized on the torso, limbs are relatively thin, lunar, face reddish, and pink stretch marks appear on the body. In the presence of these symptoms, the patient is examined and treated by endocrinologists.
Ovarian polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with obesity, obesity, reproductive problems, and other effects of androgens.