Risk Factors for Obesity
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop
Risk factors for obesity include:
If you eat high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, you are likely to eat more calories than you burn each day, thus increasing your risk of becoming obese. Another risk factor is eating until you are full and eating quickly.
If you are pregnant, your diet may also affect your child's risk of obesity. For example, skipping breakfast and smoking may increase your child's risk of becoming obese.
Children may also be at risk for becoming obese if they do not eat their regular meals with their family.
Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep may put children at risk for obesity. How much sleep in enough for kids? Here are general recommendations:
- Aged 5 years or younger—11 hours or more
- 5-10 years—10 hours or more
- 10 years or older—9 hours or more
Lack of Physical Activity
If you don’t get enough physical activity (exercise), you are likely to burn fewer calories than you eat each day, thus increasing your risk of becoming obese. For children, too little exercise and spending too much time watching TV or playing on the computer can increase their risk of gaining weight and becoming obese.
Working Varied Shifts
Working shifts at different times of the day and night increases your risk of becoming obese.
Medical Conditions and Medications
Certain medications, rare hereditary diseases, and hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroid and Cushing’s disease) increase your risk of obesity.
If you are a smoker and want to
If you are pregnant, smoking may increase your child's risk of becoming obese.
The incidence of obesity more than doubles between the ages of 20 and 55. However, this may be related to a decrease in activity levels. A recent study found that within 30 years, over half of a large group of normal-weight men and women became overweight.
Specific, rare hereditary diseases may increase the risk of obesity. In addition, there seems to be a general tendency for obesity to run in some families, though the reason for this is not well understood.
There is a higher incidence of obesity among certain races or ethnic groups. In the US, obesity affects 66% of middle-aged black women and 68% of Mexican American women, compared with 45% of white women.
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Last reviewed July 2010 by
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