Factors contributing to obesity

Obesity is neither a cosmetic issue nor a psychological problem. It is very important for our patients to understand that obesity is a CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE MEDICAL DISEASE. Our understanding of obesity, energy metabolism and weight control has greatly evolved over the past few years. We now understand that many hormones control body weight and obesity is the result of an imbalance in these complex hormonal systems.

Therefore, obesity is no longer viewed as a consequence of over-eating, self-indulgence or lack of self-control. Rather, obesity is the result of multiple environmental and genetic factors that disrupt a variety of hormonal systems that control body weight and energy metabolism. The disruption of these hormones results in the progressive body fat accumulation.

Endocrine disease

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushings syndrome
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Polycystic ovarian disease

Mental & Physical Disability


  • Schizophrenia
  • Downs syndrome
  • Mental illness
  • Learning disabilities
  • Eating disorders

Physical Disability

  • Greatly reduced activity levels (eq. Wheelchair bound)
  • Combination of difficulties in regulating food intake and energy output

Social Factors

  • Reduction in exercise
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • TV
  • Computer games
  • Sedentary jobs
  • Pregnancy – may eat more or erratically

Genetic Factors

  • Prader – Willi syndrome
  • Other dyndromes
  • Leptin deficiency
  • Other defects and deficiencies

Environmental Factors

  • Advertising and marketing of high density foods and soft drinks
  • Social deprivation
  • Lifestyle changes, more cars, etc

Behavior Factors

  • Consumption of fast food
  • Consumption of processed foods
  • High fat diets
  • Snacking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Weight gain associated with smoking cessation
  • Disorganized eating patters and eating disorders
  • Drug use