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The Leading Causes of Obesity

Obesity Excess Weight

It is impossible to pinpoint one single cause of obesity. However, stated simply, obesity is caused by consuming more energy (calories) than we expend. Our bodies store any unused energy as fat. If we ask ourselves why we consume more than we burn, we can begin to understand how our own behavior, genetics, environment, and other health conditions can lead to excess weight and obesity.

At the UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery in Houston, our team of specialists can help you identify and understand your unique underlying causes of obesity, as well as associated health risks. We will also explain the wide range of treatment options available to help you reach your target weight-loss goal, and we will help you begin your personal journey to better health and wellness.

If you're ready to identify your unique causes of obesity so you can start to lose excess weight for good, contact UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. Request your consultation online or phone (713) 892-5500 today.

Four Primary Obesity Causes for Houston Residents

Obesity is often caused by more than just eating too much. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, these are the 4 leading factors that contribute to excess weight:

1. Sedentary Lifestyle

Most Americans aren't very physically active, and the reasons for this vary. For one, we often live far from grocery stores, our workplace, or social centers, so we drive our vehicles instead of walking or riding a bicycle. We also spend numerous hours in front of the television, computer, or gaming console instead of participating in outdoor activities, and we struggle to stick to a regular exercise regimen. Unfortunately, people who lead mostly sedentary lives have a very difficult time burning the calories they consume, which leads to excess weight.

2. Environment

In many ways, we can say that our environment is one of the leading causes of obesity in our culture. We have structured our lives so that they require very little exercise. Our homes are often far from shopping or social centers, and many developments lack sidewalks or open space that might encourage physical activity. In addition, rather than actively engaging in physical labor, most of us work long hours at desk jobs, and we have little free time for exercise. Factor in the time many people spend on a daily commute to and from the office, and it becomes all too clear why people are not as physically active as they once were.

The benefits of taking control of your health and your life are undeniable, but most people are not sure where to start. The surgeons and staff at MIST are here to guide you through this life altering process and ultimately help you to achieve your weight loss goals.

The food industry has responded with new products to support this fast-paced lifestyle, and most of it is processed, relatively inexpensive, easy to eat, readily available, and often chemically enhanced to make it taste better. Many quick meals, snacks, and beverages are loaded with calories and unhealthy ingredients like saturated fats, excess salt, sugar, and preservatives. In addition, advertisements encourage unhealthy eating choices and often promise more food for less money. "Super sizes" dominate the fast-food market, and because these large meals and beverages are affordable (because they're composed of inexpensive ingredients and fillers), people eat more of this kind of food, and more often, than they should.

3. Genetics or Family History

Genes have a tremendous influence on body type and size, and for this reason, the tendency to carry excess weight tends to run in families and is one of the most significant causes of obesity. Anyone who has an overweight or obese first-degree relative has a much greater chance of being overweight as well. In addition to determining how much fat we store, genes also influence where we accumulate excess fat. If your family tends to gain weight in the abdomen, you probably will too, and you might be at greater risk for certain diseases. And finally, because families typically have similar eating patterns and activity levels, a link exists between genes and the environment.

4. Health Conditions

Although not as common, certain health conditions can be one of the underlying, potentially serious causes of obesity. These include the following hormonal disorders: hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid that slows metabolism), Cushing's syndrome (adrenal glands produce too much cortisol), and polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is caused by high levels of androgens.

Contact the UT MIST team of specialists in Houston if you're ready to identify your causes of obesity and explore the wide range of treatment options available to help you reach your target weight-loss goal. Request your consultation online or phone (713) 892-5500 today.

Meet the Physicians
of UT MIST Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery and UT COMMP!

The UT MIST/UT COMMP team includes board-certified surgeons and obesity medicine specialists who are among the most highly trained in the country. They offer the most advanced minimally invasive technologies and techniques available for weight loss surgery, and will work with you to provide the best possible care.