The 10 main causes of weight gain that you probably don't know

These include high blood pressure, high blood sugar and poor blood lipid profile. People with metabolic syndrome are at much higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than those of normal weight. Over the past few decades, much research has focused on the causes of obesity and how it might be prevented or treated.

Obesity and willpower: the equation that doesn’t work

Many people seem to think that weight gain and obesity are caused by a lack of willpower. This is not entirely true. Although weight gain is largely a result of eating behavior and lifestyle, some people are at a disadvantage when it comes to controlling their eating habits. The fact is that overeating is caused by various biological factors like genetics and hormones. Some people are simply predisposed to gaining weight. Of course, people can overcome their genetic disadvantages by changing their lifestyle and behavior. Lifestyle changes require willpower, dedication and perseverance.

However, to claim that behavior is purely a function of willpower is far too simplistic. They don’t take into account all the other factors that ultimately determine what people do and when they do it. weight, obesity and metabolic diseases. And they have nothing to do with willpower.

1. Genetics

Obesity has a strong genetic component. Children of obese parents are much more likely to become obese than children of thin parents. This does not mean that obesity is completely predetermined. What you eat can have a major effect on which genes are expressed and which are not. Non-industrialized societies quickly become obese when they begin to follow a typical Western diet. Their genes didn’t change, but the environment and the signals they sent to their genes did.

In other words , genetic components affect susceptibility to weight gain. Studies on identical twins demonstrate this very well.

2. Junk Food and Convenience Meals

Heavily processed foods are often little more than refined ingredients mixed with additives. These products are designed to be inexpensive, last a long time on the shelf, and taste so amazingly good it’s hard to resist. By making food as tasty as possible, food manufacturers try to increase sales. But they also encourage overconsumption. Most processed foods today don’t look like whole foods at all. They are very elaborate products, designed to make people addicted.

3. Food addiction

Many unhealthy sugary and high-fat foods stimulate the reward centers in your brain. In fact, these foods are often compared to commonly abused drugs like alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, and cannabis. Junk food can lead to addiction in sensitive people. These people lose control of their eating behavior, just as people with alcohol addiction lose control of their drinking behavior. Addiction is a complex problem that can be very difficult to overcome. When you become addicted to something, you lose your freedom of choice and your brain biochemistry begins to take over.

4. Aggressive marketing

Junk food producers are very aggressive marketers. Their tactics can sometimes be unethical and they sometimes try to market very unhealthy products as healthy foods. These companies also make misleading claims. Worse still, they target their marketing specifically at children. In today’s world, children are becoming obese, diabetic and addicted to junk food long before they are old enough to make informed decisions about it.

5. Insulin

Insulin is a very important hormone that regulates, among other things, the storage of energy. One of its functions is to tell fat cells to store fat and keep the fat they already carry. The Western diet promotes insulin resistance in many overweight and obese people. This raises insulin levels throughout the body, causing energy to be stored in fat cells instead of being available for use. The role of insulin in obesity is controversial.

But several studies suggest that high insulin levels have a causal role in the development of obesity. One of the best ways to lower your insulin levels is to decrease simple or refined carbohydrates while increasing fiber intake. This usually leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss. No more counting calories or controlling portions.

6. Certain medications

Many pharmaceutical medications can cause weight gain as a side effect. For example, antidepressants have been linked to modest weight gain over time.

Diabetes medications and antipsychotics are other examples . These drugs do not decrease your willpower. They alter the way your body and brain work, reducing metabolic rate or increasing appetite.

7. Leptin Resistance

Leptin is another hormone that plays an important role in obesity. It is produced by fat cells and its level in the blood increases with the increase in fat mass. This is why leptin levels are particularly high in obese people. In healthy people, high leptin levels are linked to decreased appetite. When working properly, it should tell your brain the level of your fat stores. The problem is that leptin doesn’t work as it should in many obese people. Because for some reason, she can’t cross the blood-brain barrier. This state is called leptin resistance. It is an important factor in the pathogenesis of obesity.

8. Availability of Food

Another factor that significantly influences weight is the availability of food, which has increased massively over the past few centuries. Food, especially junk food, is ubiquitous today. Stores display tempting foods where they are most likely to catch your eye. Another problem is that junk food is often cheaper than healthy, whole foods. Some people, especially in poor neighborhoods, do not even have the opportunity to buy real food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Convenience stores in these neighborhoods only sell processed and packaged sodas, candy, and unhealthy foods. How can it be a matter of choice if there is none?

9. Sugar

Added sugar is perhaps the worst aspect of the modern diet. This is because sugar alters your body’s hormones and biochemistry when consumed in excess. This in turn contributes to weight gain. Added sugar is half glucose and half fructose. Glucose is obtained from various foods, including starches, but the majority of fructose comes from added sugar. Excessive consumption of fructose can lead to insulin resistance and high insulin levels. Additionally, it does not promote satiety in the same way as glucose. For all of these reasons, sugar contributes to increased energy storage and ultimately obesity.

24. Misinformation

Around the world, people are misinformed about health and nutrition. There are many reasons for this, but the problem largely depends on where people get their information from.

Many websites, for example, spread inaccurate or even incorrect information about the health and nutrition. Some media oversimplify or misinterpret the results of scientific studies, and these results are often taken out of context. Other information may simply be outdated or based on theories that have never been fully proven.

Food companies also play a role. Some promote their own products by grossly exaggerating the nutritional benefits. Weight loss strategies based on false information can hinder your progress. It is important to choose your sources carefully.

Take control of your diet and your weight

If you have concerns about your waistline, you should not use this article as an excuse to give up. You cannot fully control how your body works. But you can learn to control your eating habits and change your lifestyle.

Unless a medical condition prevents you from doing so, it is in your power to control your weight. The purpose of this article is to open the mind to the fact that something other than individual responsibility plays a role in the obesity epidemic. The idea that it’s all down to a lack of willpower is exactly what food producers want you to believe. So that they can continue their marketing in peace. Take charge of your life, your diet and your activities. Thus, you will have control over your weight and your health.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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