Why people become overweight

Common factors influencing obesity

Genetics – Studies have shown that you can inherit a tendency toward obesity. Your chance of being overweight increases 25 percent if one or both of your parents is obese. Heredity also strongly influences where you carry weight – the hips or around the middle.

Metabolic – How you expend energy differs from how someone else will. Metabolic and hormonal factors are not the same for everyone, but these factors play a role in determining weight gain. Recent studies show that levels of ghrelin, a peptide hormone known to regulate appetite, and other peptides in the stomach, play a role in triggering hunger and giving you a feeling of fullness after eating.

Lifestyle – Overeating in combination with a sedentary lifestyle, contributes to obesity. Changing your behavior can affect these lifestyle choices. If you eat a diet in which a high percentage of calories come from sugary, high-fat, refined foods, chances are you’ll gain weight. As more American families eat on the go and people look for low-cost options, more people reach for high-calorie and -fat foods and beverages like fast food.

Couple that with a lack of regular exercise and it becomes very difficult for adults to maintain or lose weight. For children, activities that don’t expend energy, such as watching television or sitting at a computer, contribute to obesity.