Causes of Overweighting Essay

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Everyone knows some people who can eat ice cream, cake, and whatever else they want and still not gain weight. At the other extreme are people who seem to gain weight no matter how little they eat. Why? What allows one person to remain thin without effort but demands that another struggle to avoid gaining weight or regaining the pounds he or she has lost previously? On a very simple level, your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn up. But each of these factors is influenced by a combination of genes and environment. Both can affect your physiology (such as how fast you burn calories) as well as your behavior (the types of foods you choose to eat, for instance). Many people weigh more than they should. Doctors call them overweight. According to Wlardlow (Journal of the Hela, 2000, vol. 7) obesity is defined as a condition characterised by excess body fat. Anyone who is about 15 or more pounds heavier than his desirable weight is considered overweight. People who are more than 30 or 40 pounds heavier than they should be are considered obese. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable illness and death after smoking in North America. (Ross Fitzgerald, Courier Mail, Nov. 2000). In recent years, the number of overweight people in industrialized countries has increased significantly, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called obesity an epidemic. In the United States, over 65% of the adult population is overweight. In Canada, about 40% to 60% of adults have a weight problem. ( In the past, many people thought that obesity was simply caused by overeating and under-exercising, resulting from a lack of will power and self-control. Although these are significant contributing factors, doctors recognize that obesity is a

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