Obesity: Causes and Consequences
Obesity results from a complex interplay of biologic, environmental, genetic, and psychosocial factors that influence appetite, satiety, and food storage in the form of body fat. At a fundamental level, obesity results from a sustained positive energy balance; that is, consuming more energy than one expends over an extended period of time. Weight gain results from excess caloric intake, and weight loss results from greater caloric expenditure than intake. Thus, excessive caloric intake and insufficient physical activity are the primary contributors to obesity.
Research has demonstrated that energy balance is highly influenced by a complex biological system. This system balances the amount of fat in the body, partially by regulating the unconscious drive to eat (Friedman, 2009). This drive to eat is adaptive in times of food scarcity but has become problematic given the relative abundance of high-calorie foods and limited physical activity participation...
References and Readings
- Kumanyika, S. K., Obarzanek, E., Stettler, N., Bell, R., Field, A., Fortmann, F. A., et al. (2008). Population-based prevention of obesity: The need for comprehensive promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and energy balance. A scientific statement from American Heart Association Council on epidemiology and prevention, interdisciplinary committee for prevention. Circulation, 18, 428–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar