Genetics and Obesity Essay

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Do you know if you are in good health? Maybe BMI can tell you the answer. BMI values can be obtained by dividing weight(kg) by the square of height(m). The BMI values in the range of 18.5-30 are normal, but the values up to 30 are defined as obesity. If you are obese, I'm sorry to inform you that you need to change. In fact, obesity is one of the most important public health problems in the 21st century. Even in 2013, obesity was considered a disease in the United States. Today's society believes that obesity is mainly caused by these factors: unhealthy eating behavior, medical conditions, genetics, and habits.

As society develops, people's lives have become rich, accompanied by unhealthy eating behavior. However, unhealthy eating behavior is one of the most important factors leading to obesity. Among them, overeating is a primary cause. Modern people are under pressure from all aspects of their lives. A survey shows that people with high social pressure consume more calories. Physiologically speaking, higher-calorie foods bring greater pleasure to the brain, thereby alleviating stress. In addition, most people do not have strong self-discipline; they hardly limit their calorie intake. This leads to the second point of unhealthy eating behavior - picky eating. People enjoy eating high-calorie food even though it makes them fat since most junk food tastes better than healthy food. The brain's incentive mechanism makes it increasingly hard for people to resist junk food. Then people not only get fatter and fatter but also will be malnutrition. in today's society, unhealthy eating behavior is the most common cause of obesity. Because it could happen to any of us.

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Medical condition is also a major cause of obesity. Conditions can be broken down into two categories -- mental and physical. In today's society, psychological problem has become a prevailing issue that troubles many people. Many people have different degrees of depression and mental illness. In fact, depression and mental illness do not directly contribute to obesity, but treatment drugs do. Some drugs can affect the appetite regulation center of the human brain while treating mental problems. As a result, the body cannot control its appetite and begins to gain weight. Similarly, there are some drugs that have calming effects. This reduces physical activity and leads to fat hoarding. On the other hand, physical diseases can also lead to obesity. Hypothyroidism will reduce thyroid hormone secretion. However, the function of thyroid hormones is to stimulate the body to consume energy for heat production. When the thyroid hormone is lowered, the body stores more fat on the premise of eating the same food, which leads to obesity. Of course, there are also some physical injuries that can lead to obesity. Take my brother for example. He was badly injured in a car accident. He had to stay in bed for three months. During those three months, he consumed much more nutrition than usual in order to recover as soon as possible. Because of the muscle tissue damage and decreased hormone secretion, he gained weight very quickly. By the end of his recovery, he gained 30 kilograms. Obviously, diseases can cause obesity very easily. And at this time, there is no way to prevent obesity.

Finally, I have to mention genetics and habits. Although this is rare, it does cause obesity. Some people are unlucky because they are naturally fatter than others. This is a genetic problem. Generally speaking, if a person's parents are obese, then the person is more likely to be obese. However, the fundamental problem is gene expression. As of 2006, more than 41 of sites on the human genome have been linked to the development of obesity when a favorable environment is present. (Obesity and cardiovascular disease: pathophysiology, evaluation, and effect of weight loss, 2006) People with two copies of the FTO gene (fat mass and obesity-associated gene) have been found on average to weigh 3–4 kg more and have a 1.67-fold greater risk of obesity compared with those without the risk allele. (FTO: the first gene contributing to common forms of human obesity, 2008) The differences in BMI between people that are due to genetics vary depending on the population examined from 6% to 85%. (Genetic epidemiology of obesity, 2007) When different obesity genes are expressed at the same time, they can cause significant obesity. Then, habits and customs are one of the reasons. The sedentary lifestyle is also one of the reasons why the number of obese people is increasing. For example, a survey showed that 27% of people in Canada with sedentary lifestyles suffer from obesity, but only 19.6% of people with normal activities suffer from obesity. Being sedentary reduces their metabolism and presses the nervous system, resulting in fat accumulation. Essentially, the main cause of obesity in this group is not to exercise and live in single lifestyle. If such people change their lifestyle, they will lose weight thus leading to obesity.

In a word, unhealthy eating behaviors, medical conditions genetics, and habits are very likely to be obesity. However, obesity can cause not only a bad body shape but also many serious diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and so on. Obesity patients who are too severe are even at risk for their lives. Surveys have shown that, on average, severe obesity (BMI greater than 40) reduces life expectancy by 10 years. Of course, there are also many ways to avoid obesity. The most important part is to establish a good concept of healthy life and supplement the basic knowledge of healthy life. On this basis, as long as scientific diet, hard exercise, and good habits are adjusted, obesity will be farther and farther away from people.

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