Obese people are more likely to live in the most obese countries and less likely to live in the least obese countries, according to new research published in The Lancet medical journal. The study looked at 188 countries across the world and found that even within high-income nations, people with a high body mass index (BMI) were more likely to live in countries with more overweight and obese people. While living in an area where obesity was common meant that people were three times more likely to be obese themselves, researchers did not find the same relationship between being underweight and living in an area where this was common.
Obesity is caused by genetics
Obesity is a global epidemic that has been building for decades, but recent research suggests genetics may be behind at least some of it. Now a group of doctors believe they have found ‘obesity code’ and it’s linked to genes from parents. According to this research there is an obesity gene called FTO. Those with two copies were shown to be significantly heavier on average than those with only one copy or no copies at all. Researchers examined 106 families containing over 6,000 individuals and found that while obesity isn’t always genetic, obesity due to FTO has a heritability score of 38% – which means one third of obesity can be attributed genetics. They hope this will pave the way for new treatments including surgeries or medicines that fight fat storage rather than focus on weight loss.
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Poverty causes obesity
Poverty is one of the factors that affect weight, causing overweight and obesity levels to soar. As a result, rates of diseases related as well such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is what’s known as the obesity code: low socioeconomic status predicts higher levels of obesity due to increased food insecurity and processed food availability. People from lower-income backgrounds have a worse diet quality than those with higher incomes and poorer diet quality leads to an increase in body weight. Those who are struggling financially may end up buying cheap calories from fast food restaurants or eating too much processed food instead of healthier options like vegetables or whole grains that take longer to prepare. However, not all lower-income populations are overweight and obesity prevalence varies across different income brackets.
Eating too much
Most of these overweight or obese individuals will struggle with this for their entire lives, never able to shed weight and keep it off. As difficult as it is, those who want to make a change need to work hard on developing new habits and treating themselves well. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, but many resources exist to help you do so. For example, take a look at this new ebook that was just published online: ‘The Obesity Code’ by Dr. Jason Fung
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Inactivity causes obesity
Inactivity is one of the many causes of obesity. In 2013, 80% of Americans watched television for 2 or more hours each day. Obesity code identifies a number of long-term diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and high blood pressure. An obese woman’s risk for chronic disease increases by 30% as she crosses 120 pounds and doubles when she exceeds 190 pounds. Although there may be other risk factors affecting weight, inactivity is one factor that should not be overlooked.
Stress can make you fat
Stress can often make you feel hungry, so it’s not surprising that obesity rates have increased with economic downturns. And obesity is a problem in rich and poor countries alike. Obesity rates are higher among lower-income populations, who have been found to be at a greater risk for metabolic syndrome than high-income populations. In fact, an obese woman may be up to 26% less wealthy than a non-obese woman with the same age and height distribution. The World Health Organization has classified six of the world’s ten most obese countries as high income. So even though globalization is promising better living conditions for all, we’re seeing dramatic differences between rich and poor nations when it comes to obesity rates.
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Unhealthy food makes you fat
People often say you are what you eat. But if that’s true, then it means that an obese woman is eating a lot of unhealthy food and this may be affecting her weight. Did you know that on average, obese people make about $9,500 less per year than those who aren’t obese? This is because many things affect an individual’s weight and health, including where they live and what they eat.
Drinking too much alcohol makes you fat
An obese woman walks into a weight-loss clinic. The nurse asks her how many alcoholic drinks she has each day.
The woman says, I don’t know, I can’t count that high.