Your lifestyle. Modern conveniences—such as elevators,
cars, and the remote control for the television—cut activity out of our lives.
Your genesYour genes. If one of your parents is
obese, you are more likely to be obese than someone who has parents of healthy
Your friends and family.
If they eat a lot of snack foods high in saturated fat, eat at irregular times, and skip meals, you probably
will too. And if they are not physically active, you may not be either.
Other things influence your weight and whether you are physically active,
Low self-esteem. Being
overweight or obese may lower your
self-esteem and lead to eating as a way to comfort
yourself. Repeated failure at dieting also can affect your self-esteem and make
it even harder to lose weight.
Emotional concerns. Emotional
anxiety, or illnesses such as
depression or chronic pain can lead to overeating.
Some people eat to calm themselves, to avoid dealing with unpleasant tasks or
situations, or to dampen negative emotions.
Trauma. Distressing events—such as childhood sexual,
physical, or emotional abuse; loss of a parent during childhood; or marital or
family problems—can contribute to overeating.
Alcohol. Alcohol (beer, wine, and mixed drinks)
is very high in calories.
Medicines or medical conditions. Some
medical conditions and medicines may also cause weight gain. Examples include
Cushing's syndrome or
hypothyroidism or taking certain antidepressants or