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What Causes Obesity?

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Over the past few decades, the obesity rates for the average American have skyrocketed, and now affects over 40 percent of our population (1). Although eating too many calories and lack of exercise are well known causes of obesity, there are other contributing factors to consider.

In this blog post, I'll go over some other causes of obesity that you may not be aware of.

1.Negative Mindset

Everyone views themselves in a certain way, which can be either positive or negative.

Having a positive view of yourself makes you more motivated to improve your health, finances, and other areas of your life.

On the other hand, having a negative view of yourself leads to low self-esteem, low motivation, and other self limiting beliefs. For some people, this negative mindset can lead to depression, low energy, and the need to seek comfort through eating. If this cycle isn’t corrected, an emotional attachment to food can develop, which can lead to obesity.


Environment can play a major role in obesity, and for many reasons. Many People who live in inner cities or low income neighborhoods either don’t have access to healthy foods, or simply can’t afford them.

As a result, the only option is to eat from low quality fast food restaurants or convenience stores. Over time, eating these unhealthy foods can lead to an increased risk of obesity and other health issues.

Environment can also affect exercise. In some cities the crime rate is so high that people are too afraid to walk down their own sidewalk, let alone exercise. Would you go jogging in the middle of a war zone?

To add to that, many urban communities lack outdoor parks, and other recreational facilities which makes it even harder to exercise.

3.lack of Education

Lack of education about healthy living is a major cause of obesity, and can be traced back to childhood. According to the CDC, nearly 20% of all children in the United States are obese (2).

Unfortunately, important topics like proper nutrition and fitness aren’t usually taught to kids in schools, or at home. As a result, a lot kids grow up to become adults with poor eating habits and increased risk of obesity.


Everyone identifies with a certain culture. From the way you dress to the music you listen to, your culture influences your decisions. The same holds true for the foods that you eat. If you grew up in a culture that eats a lot of fatty or fried foods, it can become a part of your identity.

Even if you know that this type of diet isn’t the best for you, it can be very hard to give it up because it’s a part of who you are.


Genes make up the blueprint of your body, and determines everything from your eye color to your height. Although it’s rare, recent studies have shown that some people are at an increased risk for obesity based on their genetics (3)


Many important bodily functions are controlled by hormones, and when out of balance can lead to disease. Conditions such as Cushing syndrome and hypothyroidism, have been know to cause weight gain leading to obesity.

7. Medications

For some people, taking medications are necessary to treat their illnesses.

Unfortunately, the side effect of some of these medications can be unhealthy weight gain.

Certain blood pressure medications, antidepressants and seizure medications have been known to cause weight gain.


Although some causes of obesity are out of your control, you still have the ultimate power.

By living a healthier lifestyle that involves a positive mindset, balanced nutrition and regular physical fitness, you can easily take control of your weight and health.

For more information about becoming the healthiest version of yourself, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter and receive a free download of the: "Ultimate Weight Loss Checklist"

Aaron Henry PA-C

Men's Health Coach

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