The causes of, and risk factors for, obesity


Weight gain is caused by the massive storage of fat in the body, resulting in an imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure. However, weight gain is often the consequence of a more serious problem than simply eating too much. 

Other factors can be responsible for an individual’s weight gain:
- diet,
- heredity,
- a sedentary lifestyle,
- hormonal or glandular disorders,
- psychological and/or sociological disorders,
- prescription drugs.

Factors that play a role in weight gain

Environmental factors and changes in behaviour go a long way towards explaining the increase in obesity from a diet that is too rich and a lack of physical activity. In addition, the deconstruction of meals, sedentary lifestyles and increased snacking all encourage weight gain.

Heredity also plays an important role. It has thus been shown that a child with one overweight or obese parent will have a 40 % risk of being overweight or obese in turn. If both parents have weight problems, the child will then have an 80 % risk. This risk drops to just 10 % if both parents are of normal corpulence.

Article written under the supervision of Dr Marcel ICHOU, a general practitioner in Paris

For further information:

Last updated: 09/08/2018

avatar Carenity Editorial Team

Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

The Carenity Editorial Team is made up of experienced editors and specialists in the healthcare field who aim to provide impartial and high quality information. Our editorial content is proofread, edited and... >> Learn more

Who reviewed it: Marcel Ichou, General Practitioner

Doctor Marcel Ichou has been a general practitioner in Paris since 1980. He is also a columnist on Europe 1 and particpates on the "Vivement dimanche" programme on France 2. He is the author of two books: "Votre... >> Learn more

Obesity on the forum

See the forum Obesity

Newsfeed - Obesity