What Really Causes Obesity?

There's an old mantra in nutrition that you may have heard: Calories In, Calories Out. In other words, if the amount of calories you consume is relatively the same as the amount you burn off, you will not be under or overweight. But does this really apply to the 1.2 million Americans who struggle with obesity? Is the cure for obesity as simple as just eating less and/or moving more?

Not necessarily, says the research. There are multiple causes contributing to this condition and in treating those with obesity, we need to be aware of factors both inside and outside the body that play a role. This chart from The Obesity Society shows how may different components should be considered when evaluating a person with obesity.

Environmental factors - everything from underemployment to decreased opportunity to exercise - may be important, as well as emotional causes, such as relationship issues. Medications prescribed for other conditions can contribute to weight gain and obesity, as can chronic medical conditions. An altered gut microbiome is almost certainly a contributor, as are many physical and emotional disabilities. But the key factor that is largely overlooked?

Genetics. In fact, this component alone is now recognized to be as much as 70% of the root cause of obesity. We can work on this issue to improve individuals' chances of conquering obesity, but not until we are fully aware of the impact that it does have in causing the condition in the first place.

So if you or people that you know are considered obese (defined as BMI of 30 or higher) and are interested in working with a health care provider such as dietitian to treat this condition, be aware of the many issues that are involved. If someone says the solution is to "just eat less and move more," well, it's most likely much more complicated than that. And it will require a more personalized and in-depth approach to see the results you are looking for. #sponsored #foodiesatfourseasons #foodfluence

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