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Causes of Morbid Obesity

Causes of Morbid Obesity

The causes of obesity are multiple and complex. Despite conventional wisdom, it is not simply a result of overeating. Studies have demonstrated that once the problem is established, efforts such as dieting and exercise programs have a limited ability to provide effective long-term relief.

Science continues to search for answers. But until the morbid obesity disease is better understood, the control of excess weight is something patients must work at for their entire lives. That is why it is very important to understand that all current medical interventions, including weight loss surgery, should not be considered medical cures. Rather they are attempts to reduce the effects of excessive weight and alleviate the serious physical, emotional and social consequences of morbid obesity.

Contributing Factors of Morbid Obesity

The underlying causes of severe obesity are not known. There are many factors that contribute to the development of obesity including genetic, hereditary, environmental, metabolic, and eating disorders. There are also certain medical conditions that may result in obesity, such as the intake of steroids and hypothyroidism.

Genetic Factors

Numerous scientific studies have established that your genes play an important role in your tendency to gain excess weight.

We probably have a number of genes directly related to weight. Just as some genes determine eye color or height, others affect our appetite, our ability to feel full or satisfied, our metabolism, our fat-storing ability, and even our natural activity levels.

Environmental Factors

Environmental and genetic factors are obviously closely intertwined. If you have a genetic predisposition toward morbid obesity, then the modern American lifestyle and environment may make controlling weight more difficult.

Fast food, long days sitting at a desk, and suburban neighborhoods that require cars all magnify hereditary factors such as metabolism and efficient fat storage.

For those suffering from morbid obesity, anything less than a total change in environment usually results in failure to reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

Metabolism

We used to think of weight gain or loss as only a function of calories ingested and then burned. Take in more calories than you burn, gain weight; burn more calories than you ingest, lose weight. But now we know the equation isn't that simple.

Obesity researchers now talk about a theory called the "set point," a sort of thermostat in the brain that makes people resistant to either weight gain or loss. If you try to override the set point by drastically cutting your calorie intake, your brain responds by lowering metabolism and slowing activity. You then gain back any weight you lost.


FREE Bariatric Informational Seminars

Bariatric Surgeons Eric Knapp, DO and Luis A. Benavente, MD provide in-depth presentations on the latest weight-loss surgical techniques, including a review of the potential benefits and risks. A general discussion period will follow.

For more information, please call 574-523-3264 or toll free at 855-874-3BMI (3264).