How Does One Become Obese?

A variety of factors can lead to obesity.  Some have genetic metabolic derangements that alter how the body processes the fats, sugars, and proteins received from a meal.  However, for the majority of people, obesity is the result of consuming far more calories than their body expends.  We eat to provide nutrients and materials (substrates, e.g., fats, sugars, and proteins) that the body needs to function properly. 

We “burn” calories by metabolizing these substrates to generate the energy our cells need to function properly. Cells form the various organs of the body, such as the heart, skeletal muscle, the nervous system, etc. All cells of the body constantly need energy; and as a result, your body burns a certain amount of calories every day. However, if one eats so much food that the amount of calories they consume greatly exceeds the amount of calories the body can burn, these extra calories are stored as fat. Over time, taking in more calories than the body burns results in one becoming overweight and then obese. Thus, you should avoid consuming more calories than your body can convert into energy. Physical activity is one way to increase the number of calories that you burn in a given day. Increasing your activity and reducing your food intake, particularly foods high in fat that have lots of calories, can help you lose and then maintain a healthy weight. 

As indicated above, being obese causes a lot of health problems, so don’t overeat, eat healthy foods likes fruits and vegetables, avoid the calories of soft drinks, and get plenty of exercise so you can maintain a healthy weight and reduce your chances of getting a variety of serious medical problems.