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What Causes Weight Gain/Obesity
& How Can It Be Overcome?

  • Staff Writer May 7, 2020
  • Weight management is always a hugely trending topic in magazines, websites, social media and general conversation. Recently, social media has been abuzz with the astounding weight-loss of Adele. The biggest question people ask is what causes weight gain and how to lose weight.

  • The most common answer is diet and exercise, with experts advising you to ensure you eat a healthy, balanced, kilojoule-controlled diet, combined with frequent physical activity. But many people still struggle with their weight despite eating healthy, following a strict dieting and exercising extensively.

    Obesity is a leading health problem in the world, as it's associated with many related health conditions, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and a poor blood lipid profile. People with obesity are also at a much higher risk of heart disease and type two diabetes.

    Besides overeating and a lack of physical activity, what exactly causes obesity?

    The first cause could be genetics. According to Harvard Medical School, your genes can affect your susceptibility to gain weight. Another cause is the heavily processed and sugar-sweetened junk foods that society consumes, which people tend to overeat.

    But hormones can also influence a person's weight. Insulin resistance can cause weight gain, because insulin is a very important hormone that regulates energy storage. This causes energy to get stored in fat cells, which in turn causes weight gain.

    Weight gain can also signal low levels of thyroid hormones, which is a condition called hypothyroidism. Your thyroid is a vital hormone gland that has a huge influence on the metabolism, growth and development of your body. Many of the body's functions slow down when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones. Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.

  • But how can you determine whether your hormones are influencing your weight?

    Weight gain generally coincides with an increase in cholesterol levels. You can book for a cholesterol test to assess your cholesterol levels. This test measures the total cholesterol in the blood and is useful to screen for risk of developing heart disease (cardiovascular risk) and to monitor effectiveness of cholesterol lowering therapy or dietary interventions.

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