Top 5 Main Causes of Obesity and Overweight In Children And Adults


 This article explains the causes of obesity and overweight.

Several factors can lead to overweight.

You may ask yourself why you are overweight and you may not clearly understand the cause.


You may be the cause of your overweight, due to poor diet choice, lack of exercise, and other related factors such as genetics,  and mental illness(1).

what is obesity?

Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat.

Generally, overweight and obesity indicate a weight greater than what is healthy. 

Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, and other chronic illnesses(2).

How do you know you are overweight?

Very simple, visit a nearby health center measure your weight in BMI scale(3).

The readings on the scale will clearly indicate your weight.

Confirm with ratings below.

causes of obesity and overweight

If your BMI is over 25.0 to 29.9, then you may be overweight.

If your BMI measurement is above 30.0 then consider yourself obese(4).

Normal weight is from 18.5 to 24.9.

Causes of obesity and overweight

          1. Poor Dietary choice May cause Obesity

This is one of the major causes of overweight. People gain weight when they eat more and often.

They end up eating more calories and fats.

Too much consumption of calories results in the growth of muscle mass.

Poor dietary, for instance, eating sugary fluids, they are associated with growth hormones that help in the development of new tissues(5).

causes of obesity and overweight

Sugary drinks can lead to blood sugar problems as well it can also increase the risks of heart diseases(6).

So always, void drinking sugary beverages.

Eating artificial Tran’s fats, which are very dangerous to your health and may cause other diseases sometimes contains in pastries, cake, and cookies.

They contain a high amount of fats, which lead to an increase in body weight.

Consumption of french fries and potato chips that contains a high amount of calories may all together lead to fattening.

causes of obesity and overweight

In addition, white bread contains a high amount of glycemic index and can increase your blood sugar level.

the processed and refined foods contain a high amount of calories.

Drinking alcohol constitute a large percentage of calorie as compared to carbs and protein.

Note: all these poor diet choice can result in significant weight gain and causes obesity and overweight(6).

            2. Mental illness May Causes of obesity.

Thyroid problems: thyroid can cause an increase in metabolism or reduce metabolism. An underactive thyroid can lead to significant weight gain and obesity.

Cushing syndromes and polycystic ovary syndromes (PCOS) all can result in abnormal weight gain and obesity(7).

Medicine such as corticosteroids, antidepressants, and seizure may together result in gradual weight gain, which may later result in obesity(8,9).

3. Genetics or Family History May Cause Obesity

Several studies show that an inherited gene from a family member can result in obesity and overweight(10).

Genes are directly linked to obesity.

For instance, one member of the community was obese and died or is still alive; there are high chances that anybody from the community may inherit the gene for obesity(11).

This causes obesity and overweight.

In addition, a gene may contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to increase in body mass.

Researchers agree that genes may stimulate an individual’s ability to become obese but that outside factors, such as a large amount of food supply or inactivity(12).

4. Lack of Physical Exercise may Cause Obesity

Inactivity is a key contributor to weight gain and obesity.

This results when you eat but you don’t perform the physical exercise to burn fats.

You need to do some physical activities to keep you active and help you burn more body fat.

Exercise provides incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out.

Regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which will burn more calories and help maintain a healthy life.

Note: Regular exercise is very vital as it boosts metabolism and burning more calories per day.

It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss.

5. Stress may cause overweight

Stress, emotional factors, and poor sleep may result in weight gain.

Research shows that some people eat more than usual when they are bored, angry, upset, or stressed(13).

Therefore, intake more calories than they burn leading to weight gain.

In addition, the less an individual sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese.

This is partly because hormones that are released during sleep control appetite and the body’s use of energy.

Side Effects of Obesity

overweight and obesity may result in several health problems. the following are some of the risks

1. Overweight May Cause Insulin resistance

being that Insulin helps in transportation of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat its resistances may affect metabolic rate.

Insulin resistance (IR) is the condition whereby there is the ineffectiveness of insulin in transporting glucose(14).

Excess fats are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, overweight and obesity may cause of insulin resistance.

2.High blood pressure (hypertension)

obesity may cause high blood pressure and this is very common among obese adults, therefore, maintain healthy body weight to avoid hypertension(15).

3. Obesity and overweight may increase the level of cholesterol in the body.

This can lead to high cholesterol which is very disastrous to your health (hypercholesterolemia)

4. overweight also can result in Stroke

Stroke is caused by excessive fats in the body and this is one of the chronical illnesses among adult and obese children(16).

5 Overweight may Cause Heart attack

Excess body fat increases the risk of a heart attack.

Many studies reveal that obese and overweight individuals have the risk of death from coronary artery disease.

6. Congestive heart failure

Another common chronic disease caused by overweight and obese is difficulty in breathing due to heart failure. 

7. Weight Gain Can Lead to Gallstones

Excessive fats in the body can result in the formation of abnormal small mass in the gall bladder or bile ducts(16).

This can cause severe pain and blockage of the bile duct.

8. Gout and gouty arthritis– many people suffering from gout and arthritis are mainly obese and overweight people(17).

The excessive body fats may result in a sudden onset of a painful, hot, red and swollen joint.

9. Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis)

It is the most common form of arthritis(20).

It can damage any joint of the knees, hips, and the lower back.

10. Obesity May Cause Sleep apnea

Another cause of overweight and obese is sleep apnea. 

This is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

Studies show that obese and overweight people are likely to develop sleep apnea.

causes of obesity and overweight

Also read 14 Health Benefits Of Sleep | Why You Need Good Sleep

Tips to Prevent  Obesity and Overweight

Obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate.

However, some of the causes of obesity and overweight can be prevented.

It is evident that most people who lose weight regain the weight within five years if they don’t regularly exercise.

1. Do Regular Exercise For Weight Loss

Physical inactivity increases your risk of obesity and overweight.

Therefore, makes sure you perform some aerobic exercise at least two times a week.

More so, regular exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight, and improves your moods.

It also improves brain functions, lower blood pressure, a reduction in abdominal fat, reduced risk of heart disease, and release of endorphins that make people feel good (21)

Note: before starting exercise, especially when you are above 50 years old, you need to visit a nearby healthcare center for medical checkups.

2.Reduce Stress 

Just do away of stress it will help you improve your overall health.

The best tips are as follows:
  • Spending time with your family and loved ones
  • Listening to music or watching movies
  • Relaxation methods like meditation and yoga.
  • Bike ride or hiking
  • sleep
  • Doing what most interest you
  • Taking a hot bath or a cold bath.

3.Maintain Healthy Weight

 It is important to maintain a healthy weight. 

This will prevent you from developing chronic disease.


You can do this by checking your weight on a body mass index (BMI).

If you need to lose weight, include weight lifting and cardio exercise and reduce the number of calories you eat every day.


You need to visit a healthcare professional for assistance on how to create a plan for healthy weight loss or weight gain.

4. Eat  a well-balanced diet to reduce body fats

Avoid eating foods high in calories and don’t eat too often. Food high in calories and fats can result in weight gain.

Always check the labels of the food you purchase and avoid foods with trans fat and saturated fats.

Food labels with partially hydrogenated oil contain trans fats. Choosing a whole-food is the best.

Furthermore, avoid processed food and flavored beverages