Weight Gain: Why does obesity continue to rise?
is weight gain so prevalent in our society?
How can you reduce your
dietary fat and still continue to have weight gain? Some experts believe that
weight gain is not strictly related to the amount of dietary fat consumed in
your diet. Also, in spite of the focus on hereditary factors, obesity is
probably not strictly a function of hereditary factors either. Most experts
seem to point to the environment as the main culprit, which encourages excess
consumption of calories along with a very limited amount of physical exercise.
Some of the environmental
determinants of weight gain may be that Western culture has made available an
abundance of convenient, inexpensive foods, which are almost everywhere you
look. Portion sizes have also increased significantly. If you pay attention to
the size of beverages and food portions available at convenient stores and
restaurant’s, it becomes obvious that patrons expect to have large portions in
order to get their money’s worth. Even though low-fat foods are now readily
available, they frequently contain a high amount of calories, compared to
traditional low-fat foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Subsequently, it appears that many in Western societies (especially the U.S)
have become habituated to consuming too many calories without even being aware
The lack of exercise is also
considered to be a major contributing factor to increased weight gain in our
society. Today’s active lifestyle frequently does not include physical
activity. As people have become much busier, they often give up sports and
physical activities that they did in adolescence or early adulthood.
Technological advances have made our lives much more sedentary at work and home.
Children have become much more sedentary, spending more time indoors playing
video games and watching television.
In summary, while genetic
susceptibility and dietary fat intake may seem to be the key contributory
factors to weight gain in many people’s minds, in actuality, it is probably more
related to the intake of too many calories along with too little physical
activity. Unless these lifestyle changes are reversed, weight gain and obesity
will probably continue to rise, along with obesity related health problems.
Fortunately, these health-related conditions will probably be reduced
correspondingly along with reductions in obesity and weight gain.
From The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50
Additional Information and
Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
(Health and Geriatric Psychologist)
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