Obesity occurs frequently in industrialized countries – particularly under conditions that are characterized by little physical labour and food abundance. In recent years, emerging economies are increasingly affected. Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between BMI and food intake.
The results of the VERA study was a surprise: There was no correlation between the calories and the observed BMI. However, there were clear indications that the investigated person generally had too much fat – especially unhealthy saturated fat – and too few vitamins and minerals had been consumed. It seems plausible that not only the amount of food, but also the nature and source of dietary components play a role in the development of obesity.
Too much poor nutrition on the one hand – too little movement (energy) on the other – lead to an unhealthy energy balance. With an annual energy consumption of about 1 million kilocalories a slight change in energy balance can cause significant weight fluctuations.
Socio-cultural factors (nutrition sociology) to both over-nutrition, as well as malnutrition and lack of exercise: Sedentary activities; Slight movement thanks to cars, lifts, escalators; Passive leisure (television, computer games); Frustration, boredom, stress; eating more than needed;
Using food as a substitute for emotional and personal attention ; no common meals; negative role models, parents who are overweight often have children who are overweight; Fast Food; Portion size; Too high in fat foods, salty and sugarary foods (A flavor enhancer glutamate can stimulate appetite);
Colour and odor compounds, which make the food more appetizing; advertising of sweets and fat; taste imprint of added sugars (soft drinks, baby food, sweetened tea, even sausages! Contain sugar substitutes); Yo-yo effect after a diet (by relapse into old habits); Obesity is a sign of beauty and prosperity in some cultures; lack of awareness and lack of alternative products.
Genetic factors (heredity) characterize the basal metabolic rate, food utilization and the fat distribution pattern. The food conversion was in the days of “hunting and gathering,” an important feature of survival: those who could save excess in fat cells, could feed on them in times of scarcity.
Eating disorders and addiction are to be assumed whenever food is consumed without feeling hungry and often, compulsively large quantities of food are consumed. See the causes of eating disorders and addiction. Metabolic disorders occur in approximately 2% of the total population. The proportion of cases of metabolic diseases being caused by obesity is not yet known.
Some drugs have the side effect of weight gain, such as insulin, contraceptive medication, antidepressants, antipsychotics, corticosteroids and beta-blockers.
Certain diseases of the mother as well as drugs and chemicals, taken during pregnancy can affect fetal development and these are also suspected of the occurrence of metabolic disorders and diabetes To this end, there are – not least because of the ethical problems of experiments in this area – only a few reliable conclusions.
The recovery of food requires less labour. The digestion of easily digestible (cooked) food requires less energy. The digestion of protein and fiber-rich foods, however consumes more energy. The quality of fat plays a role. Certain fats (cholesterol, trans fatty acids) can be easily stored by the body to a certain degree (which favors not only the formation of visceral adipose tissue, but also atherosclerosis).
The waiver of such fats, however, is not a solution – the body can convert excess carbohydrates into fat and excessive protein intake (such as low-carb diet) can be harmful. Certain foods are artificially enriched with phytosterols, which are intended to reduce the transport of cholesterol in the blood. The side effects (are) for example, the hormone levels not been sufficiently explored.