Theories Of Obesity

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As researchers try to figure out why some people get fat and others don't, it is becoming increasingly apparent that obesity is caused by an interaction of genetic (inherited), environmental (social and cultural), metabolic (physical and chemical), and behavioral (psychological and emotional) factors—therefore, no single cure is available.

The body has an almost limitless capacity to store fat. When kcalorie intake exceeds expenditures, each fat cell can balloon to more than six times its original size. If the available cells get filled to the brim, new ones will be created. As the body stores more fat, weight and girth increase. Losing weight cause fat cells to shrink in size, but not in number.

For many individuals, genetics influences the development of overweight and obesity. Studies suggest that possibly up to 50 percent of the variance in body weight in any person depends on genetic factors.

The environment is also a major determinant of overweight and obesity. Environmental influences on overweight and obesity are primarily related to food intake and physical activity behaviors. In countries such as the United States, there is an overall abundance of tasty, kcalorie-dense food. In addition, aggressive and sophisticated food marketing promotes high kcalorie consumption. Many of our sociocultural traditions promote overeating and the preferential consumption of high-kcalorie foods. For many people, even when kcaloric intake is not above the recommended level, the number of kcalories expended in physical activity is insufficient to offset consumption. Many people are stuck in daily routines that are completely sedentary.

Have you ever noticed that some people can eat lots of food and never gain a pound, while others gain weight easily? Everyone has a different basal metabolic

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