Obesity and overweight in Sweden
A large proportion of the Swedish population aged 16-84 suffer from obesity or overweight according to a report from the Public Health Authority. Today, more than half of Swedes can be classified as overweight. The report also shows that the difference between overweight and obesity differs significantly depending on where in the country you live. Obesity and overweight are more common in large cities and municipalities close to large cities, compared to rural areas. Many people believe that obesity is due only to poor diet choices and exercise habits, but it’s not quite that simple. There are other factors that affect the body weight and the accumulation of adipose tissue on the body, many of these factors are beyond the individual’s control.
This article lists 9 reasons why obesity is not due solely to poor diet and physical activity.
1. Genetics and prenatal factors
Good health is especially important in the early years, because it will affect your health later. The fact is that a lot happens while the fetus is still in the womb. The diet and lifestyle choice of the mother play a huge role and can affect the future behavior and body composition of the child.
Studies show that women who develop excess weight during pregnancy are more likely to have overweight 3-year-olds. Similarly, children with parents and grandparents who are overweight are much more likely to be overweight than children with parents and grandparents who are normal weight. In addition, the genes you inherit from your parents can determine your sensitivity to weight gain.
Although genetics and early life factors are not exclusively responsible for obesity, they contribute to the problem by predisposing people to weight gain. Approximately 40% of overweight children will continue to be heavy during adolescence, and 75-80% of obesity teenagers will continue to be overweight in adulthood.
The DNA molecule looks like a long wire consisting of two strands of DNA that bind to each other and form a double spiral.
2. The infant period
Research shows that children born by cesarean section seem more likely to develop obesity later in life, so far the cause is unknown. This also applies to infants with milk replacers, who tend to be heavier than babies who are breastfed. This may be due to the fact that the two groups develop different intestinal bacteria, which can affect your ability to accumulate adipose tissue.
It is important to note that these factors are generally not made by choice of either mother or child but appear to be linked to the child’s future risk of developing obesity. In addition, the formation of healthy eating and exercise habits in childhood can be the most valuable prevention against obesity and metabolic disorders in the future. If small children develop a penchant for healthy food instead of processed fast food, it helps them maintain normal weight throughout their life.
3. Medicines or medical conditions
Many medical conditions can only be treated with medicines. Weight gain is a common side effect of many such drugs, including antidiabetic drugs, antidepressants and antipsychotics.
These drugs can increase your appetite, reduce your metabolism, or even change your body’s ability to burn fat, or increase your ability to store fat. In addition, many common medical conditions can lead to weight gain, an important example is hypothyroidism.
4. Powerful hunger hormones
Hunger is controlled by very powerful hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain that signal to parts of your brain that are responsible for the “cravings and reward system”. Two of these hormones are called Leptin and Ghrelin.
These hormones work incorrectly in many people with obesity, changing their matte behavior and causing a strong physiological impetus to eat more. Your brain has a reward center, which begins to excrete dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain (neurotransmitters) when you eat.
This is the reason why most people like to eat. This system also ensures that you eat enough food to get all the energy and nutrients you need. Eating junk food releases much more of these neurotransmitters into the brain than eating unprocessed food. This leads to a much more powerful reward in your brain.
Your brain can then seek more “reward” by causing powerful cravings for junk food. This can lead to a vicious cycle similar to addiction.
5. Impaired sensitivity to the hormone Leptin
Leptin is a very important hormone that helps regulate appetite and metabolism. The hormone is produced by fat cells and sends a signal to that part of the brain that tells you to stop eating. Leptin regulates the number of calories you eat and burn, as well as how much fat your body stores.
The more fat contained in fat cells, the more leptin they produce. People with obesity produce a lot of leptin, but they also tend to develop a condition called leptin resistance.
Thus, even if your body produces a lot of leptin, your brain won’t feel this. When your brain does not receive enough stimulation from leptin, it mistakenly believes that you are starving, even if there is more than enough body fat stored.
This leads to your brain to change physiology and behavior to regain the fat that it thinks you lack. One consequence of this is that the feeling of hunger increases, and you burn fewer calories to prevent starvation.
6. Bad eating habits
In modern society, you are confronted with endless advertisements, health statements, nutrition claims and unhealthy foods. Despite the importance of nutrition, children and adults generally do not learn how to eat properly.
Teaching children the importance of a healthy diet and proper nutrition has been shown to help them make better choices later in life. Nutritional education is very important, especially when forming the dietary and lifestyle habits that you bring in adulthood.
7. Addictive junk food
Some foods can be purely addictive. Food addiction means being addicted to junk food in the same way that drug addicts are addicted to drugs. This is more common than you might think.
When you become addicted to something, you lose your freedom of choice. Signals in the brain are starting to make decisions for you.
8. The effect of intestinal bacteria
The gastrointestinal tract hosts a huge number of bacteria, this is called intestinal microbiota. Numerous studies show that these bacteria are extremely important for general health. Interestingly, people with obesity tend to have different intestinal bacteria than those with normal weight.
The intestinal bacteria in individuals with obesity or overweight can be more effective in reaping energy from the food you eat, increasing the total caloric value of the diet. Although the understanding of the relationship between weight and intestinal bacteria is limited, convincing evidence suggests that these microorganisms play an important role in obesity.
Nine. the environment
In some parts of the world, buying healthy food is simply not an option. These areas are located in urban neighborhoods or rural towns without access to healthy, affordable food. This is largely due to lack of grocery stores, farmers markets and healthy food suppliers within walking distance.
Those living in these regions are often poor and may not have access to a vehicle to travel far to buy food. An inability to buy healthy and fresh foods significantly limits your diet and increases the risk of problems such as obesity.
Other environmental factors can also play a role in the development of obesity, some research studies show, among other things, that artificial light from electric light bulbs, computers, telephones and televisions is somehow linked to obesity.
This is probably the case that screen time is associated with low physical activity, which in turn is the cause of the development of obesity and overweight. However, exposure to light late at night can affect your inner circadian rhythm, which can contribute to obesity. Animal studies suggest that artificial light can alter the inner circadian rhythm, making rodents more susceptible to obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
When it comes to obesity and overweight, several factors matter, many of which are beyond your control, including genetics, childhood habits, medical conditions and hormones.
Even if you develop obesity and overweight as a result of uncontrollable factors, this does not mean that you have difficulty losing weight. P getting overweight or overweight may not be a choice and losing excess weight can be difficult, you can lose weight if you decide to.