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Clinical obesity | Causes | Prevention | Morbid obesity | Exercise | Problems | Epidemic | Obesity in the UK | Diseases | Childhood obesity | Weight loss surgery | Diabetes and obesity

As more and more people in the UK become clinically obese, a great deal of attention is being given to the reasons behind this worrying trend. The causes of obesity can range from one single factor to a whole range of contributory issues. Understanding why this so called obesity epidemic is happening, can give us a better chance of addressing the problem.

The main cause of obesity, as you will no doubt be aware, is eating too much. If we consume more calories than we burn, we put on weight. If this continues over a long period of time, obesity is the likely outcome.

In the UK, and many other developed countries, our diets have deteriorated dramatically. The consumption of lean meats, fruits and vegetables has been replaced by processed meals, junk foods, and too much alcohol. Our portion sizes have also gotten out of control, and we are now eating out or ordering takeaways more than ever.

The other main cause of obesity is a lack of exercise. Without a regular exercise routine, you will struggle to burn off the excess calories you are consuming. And once again, the result will be considerable weight gain over a period of time.

In some cases, our genes can be one of the causes of obesity. Some people simply put on weight more easily than others.

However, only in a handful of instances can genetic makeup be blamed for someone being overweight. It may contribute to the problem, but it is not the main cause of the issue.

And finally, obesity can be caused by a variety of medication and several medical conditions. Illnesses such as Cushing's syndrome, under-active thyroid, and polycystic ovary syndrome can cause significant weight gain. Similarly, drugs such as corticosteroids and antidepressants can also contribute to obesity.

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