What the majority of us are looking for is to improve our health, this since we as humans are significantly worse physically than ever before in history, but the real reasons may be out of our hands.
It’s no secret that the entire nation is increasingly becoming overweight and obese, and the trend appears to be rising.
The main culprit, among others, is the convenience of technology, which has promoted a sedentary lifestyle.
There are a few warnings issued by health experts who adamantly claim that if we don’t collectively, as the human race, get a grip on our health, that the majority of the population will eventually become more overweight than fit, this just in a few decades.
According to the latest statistics, there are now over 65% percent who are considered overweight, and a 1/3 of these are considered obese. Excess fat storage has been linked to hypertension, cardiac disease, Type 2 diabetes, and several other endocrine disorders. There are now even claims that being obese is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
So what needs to be researched further are the reasons why we’re all collectively gaining weight. There’s obviously not one single definitive answer, but rather a series of reasons why this is happening.
What’s been compiled is a list of reasons which are thought to be the cause of obesity. The following are the main contributors to the epidemic.
The Reasons For Obesity
• Ease Of Life – Our ancestors of decades ago, the cowboys and the farmers of yesteryear, all exerted physical energy on a daily basis, outdoors. They were always on the move spending physical activity, primarily for food and survival.
Now, that same time is spent on laid back sedentary activities such as sitting behind a computer screen the entire day, or watching high definition television for hours.
What this technology gives us is an excuse for not being physically active and burning off accumulated calories. You can blame this on the TV remote controls, garage car openers, escalators and elevators. Someone taking the stairs is now considered all but extinct.
• Not Getting Enough Sleep – There’s been a trend over the past few decades that the general population is getting less amounts of sleep. There was once a time when the average shut eye was 9 hours per night, to less than 7 hours more recently.
The result is sleep deprived people walking around in a semi zombie state. What the lack of sleep does is it effects our metabolic hormones, which leads towards changes in our circadian rhythms, causing weight gain by increased food intake, and inviting diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
• Prescription Medication Which Induces Weight Gain – The number of doctor prescribed drugs are on the rise, and most of them has side effects which can lead to weight gain. This particular group of medication includes cures for: anxiety, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and contraception.
Even the common antihistamines off the drugstore shelf can potentially lead towards weight gain, while lithium for mania symptoms is known to lead towards massive weight gain for some.
• Exposure To Industrial Chemicals – The use of industrial chemicals can act as an endocrine disruptor. The increased use of chemicals, such as, pesticides, phthalates, flame retardants, which are used more frequently in our environment, has been linked to weight gain.
• Availability Of Fast Food – There’s a noticeable increase in the different types and tastes of relatively inexpensive food, referred to as junk or fast food. The majority of them are extremely high in empty calories, and are readily available for consumption anywhere.
These types of foods are particularly loaded with: sugar, bad fats, and plenty of salt. They’re all served in bigger portions as well.
• Viruses And Infections – There are several groups of viruses which have been associated with contributing to increased weight gain found in both humans as well as animals.
A particular strain which is known as adenovirus 36 is what’s most commonly implicated with weight gain. The changes in the bacteria which are residing in the stomach can also lead towards unneeded weight gain as well.
• Reduced Tobacco Consumption – The health movement of the past few decades contributes to a decline in cigarette smoking, which is admirable, but it’s also well known that quitting smoking will lead to weight gain.
So although giving up smoking is recommended, the invariable weight gain needs to be countered with some type of physical activity to remain thin.
• Epigenetic Effects – Known also as intra-uterine effects, which is maternal weight gain in new mothers. This weight gain is caused by either under nutrition or over nutrition of the fetus. It’s thought that it may also lead to obesity later in life.
• Control Of Interior Temperature – As in central heating systems and efficient air conditioners, which controls the interior temperature of a room. As a result, what this leads towards is a decrease in one’s metabolic rate, keeping it cool, which results in weight gain.
• Maternal Age On The Rise – The recent trend is that women are choosing to postpone childbearing until later in their lives because of their careers, and taking advantage of improved contraception methods.
And with more women in the workforce, it’s thought that the obesity rates in children are on the rise, especially with older mothers.
The Environmental Reasons For Weight Gain
Some or all of these reasons are thought to be the main contributors when it comes to weight gain. What’s significant is that the majority of these reasons, other than eating junk food, are not related to eating habits or diets, but more environmental.
One other factor is what’s known as “assortative” mating, or genetic contribution, which refers to obese individuals deciding to marry and mate with other obese individuals, this being a significant contributor as well.