Causes of Obesity

What are the Causes of Obesity

What is the exact cause of obesity? In our country and in most of the countries, obese people are discriminated against, bullied and generally considered incompetent and lazy. It is believed that people gain weight because they are too lazy to exercise or because of their excessive diet. Most of the times, overeating and lack of exercise are the root cause of obesity but sometimes a person who eats in control and exercises regularly can also gain weight and become obese. This is because obesity can be caused by various factors including genetic factors, health conditions and medications. If both the parents are overweight or obese, chances are high that the child will be obese too. However, this is a rare event and can be easily prevented if the child’s eating and lifestyle are taken care of from the beginning.

Environment Social causes Illnesses Medications
Consumption of high calorie food Poverty Hormonal Imbalance Steroids
Inactive lifestyle Low education Genetic Factors Antidepressants
Unhealthy food habits No access to places for physical activity Hypothyroidism Contraceptive pills
    Cushing’s syndrome  
    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)  

Let’s study all these causes of obesity in detail.

Environmental factors

One of the leading causes of obesity is environmental factors. So what are these factors? Environmental factors are the ones that relate to how you live, what you eat and how you eat. For instance, if your diet comprises of unhealthy foods like fried snacks, high-fat or high-sugar foods, you are in a habit of skipping breakfasts or not eating on time and you don’t exercise a lot, chances are high, you will become obese or overweight. In order to avoid obesity, you must have a balanced diet, exercise at least 5 days a week and make sure you eat regularly on time. Also make sure you chew your food and eat your meals slowly. It is easy to avoid getting overweight with simple tips.


Some medical conditions can also cause weight gain. Illnesses like Hormonal Imbalance and Genetic factors such as hereditary reasons; Cushing’s syndrome, characterized by over-production of steroid hormones, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome are also responsible for obesity.

Hypothyroidism is a medical term for an under-active thyroid gland. When your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone called thyroxine or T4, you may gain weight. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is yet another condition, which leads to weight gain. In this condition, women have a large number of cysts in their ovaries, which cause them to become overweight.

Social causes

In some countries, uneducated and poor people who are deprived of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, who don’t know the importance of regular physical activity and who eat high calorie foods, are prone to obesity. However, social factors are the least probable causes of obesity.


All medications have some side effects. If you are taking corticosteroids or antidepressants, you may gain weight as a side effect. Combined contraceptive pills are also responsible for weight gain. That’s why; many women avoid taking these pills.

Before you begin any obesity treatment, it is very important to talk to a doctor and discuss all the possible causes of your obesity. This will help the doctor to chart the best course of treatment for you.