Are You at Risk of Obesity?

  • There are several factors, including your genes, that may put you at risk of obesity.
  • Getting adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Using active or public transport to work is linked to a lower risk of obesity.

There are several causes of obesity. Find out if you are at risk with these signs:

1. You Don’t Get Adequate Sleep at Night.

  • The CDC recommends the following sleeping guidelines for certain age groups:
  • age 6 to 12 – 9 to 12 hours
  • age 13 to18 – 8 to10 hours
  • age 18 to 60 – at least 7 hours
  • age 61 to 64 – between 7 to 9 hours
  • age 65 and older – 7 to 8 hours

Our body repairs and restores itself when we sleep. When it regularly fails to do so due to inadequate sleep, the body responds as if it were under chronic stress and releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to release glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream to feed the brain. While this enables a person under stress to better respond to stress, it can lead to weight gain, and eventually, obesity.

Studies have also shown that not getting enough sleep can increase the hormone ghrelin, which boosts your appetite. At the same time, sleep deprivation decreases the hormone leptin, which signals the feeling of fullness.

2. You Often Eat Out.

According to a study presented at the 2015 American Heart Association meeting, people who ate 11 to 14 homemade lunches and dinners each week had a 13% lower risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate no more than six home-prepared lunches and dinners.

3. You Eat a Southern-Style Diet.

People living in the American South region have been found to have the highest levels of obesity and diabetes. Besides the sedentary lifestyle and low walkability in the area, the high levels of obesity may also be attributed to the Southern-style diet.

According to research, the highest consumers of the southern diet, which is mainly fried foods, were at 56% more at risk of coronary artery disease and significant weight gain.

4. You Don’t Take Active or Public Transport.

Your mode of transportation to work is also one factor for obesity. According to a study in the United Kingdom, people who traveled to work using private transport (driving your own car or carpooling), had a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who use active and public modes of transport.

Those who use bikes or use public transport that involved walking have lower BMIs and lower body fat percentages compared to those who used their private cars to go to work.

According to the CDC, regularly exercising is one way to maintain a healthy weight. For healthy people, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic weekly, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise weekly, or some combination of the two.

5. Your Parents Are Obese.

Genetics is a risk factor you can’t control, which should make you more vigilant about your own risk and your lifestyle choices.
According to studies, the FTO gene may indicate a tendency to binge eat and develop obesity in adolescents.

The “Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity” noted that the genetic risk of obesity has been demonstrated in twin studies. Other studies also suggest a strong link between obesity and genetic risk.

Source: Very Well Health


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