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Factors That Can Lead To Obesity

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The cause of obesity varies within different people but for most cases it starts when a person consumes or intakes more calories than they are burning through physical activity whether it be exercise or everyday normal activities that require you to move around. Because they are consuming more calories than they are burning the body then stores the excess calories as fat. They are many risk factors in obesity, so many that most are commonly overlooked which have made obesity a bigger issue. Some risk factors would include family lifestyle, inactivity, unhealthy diet, medical problems, certain medications, social and economic issues, age, pregnancy, quitting smoking, and lack of sleep. In this report I will be discussing the risk factors that are pregnancy and lack of sleep. It is important to tackle the issue that is obesity in pregnancy or after pregnancy, because instead of only affecting one person, it can eventually affect their baby as well. It is a known fact that while pregnant it is important to get weighted and they never fail to do that in all those appointments you are required to go but what about before conceiving? It is very important to make sure a women’s body is ready and healthy for a baby or else it could cause complications not just for the mom but the infant as well during pregnancy or even afterwards. A lot of it has to do with how uneducated people are. The other important risk factor is lack of sleep, I find this risk factor very important because I believe it is the most common to be overlooked. A lot of the times lack of sleep seems very harmless but in the long run it can cause some harm to your body. Lack of sleep can lead to many different things including increasing the risk of getting obesity. Lack of sleep doesn’t only affect your body, but it can also affect your mental health. I’ve noticed when I don’t get enough sleep it causes me to be hungry and eat at very unusual hours, it also causes me to be moody and get headaches throughout the day. The reason why lack of sleep should be taken more seriously is because it is commonly overlooked and not much being done about it. It seems the most harmless risk factor, but I’ll be explaining why that is not the case and why there should be something done about it.

Pregnancy:

Being pregnant and pregnancy overall also increases the risk of getting obesity. Women’s body goes through many changes while they’re pregnant, so it is normal for their bodies to take a while to go back to their pre-pregnancy weight. I would also like to state that it is completely normal for women to gain a certain amount of weight during a pregnancy and depending on their weight before, it would determine what is a healthy weight gain. there is a certain amount of weight you need to gain to create a healthy environment for the baby and it usually means your body is getting the things needed for the baby. Obesity in pregnant women is more common than people would think. For obese women that would like to conceive, they are usually recommended by their doctors to lose 10-20 pounds to ensure that they have a healthy pregnancy and improve their overall health. Losing weight for a healthy pregnancy is very important since one third of pregnant women in the United States are considered obese. Being obese can create issues for the mom and the baby, you can develop gestational diabetes while pregnant which also increases the risk of getting diabetes later. Being obese and pregnant can also increase the risk of getting preeclampsia which is a high blood pressure that can occur during pregnancy or even after birth. It can make the kidney and liver fail and may lead to seizure. With that being said, you can also have a healthy pregnancy while being obese, but your risks of getting other illnesses can be higher.

There are many reasons as to why pregnant women gain extra weight during their pregnancy. I think one of the reasons why that is would be because of the common misconceptions that “you are eating for two”, when you are pregnant. Although the diet a woman consumes when pregnant does affect their baby, they are not necessarily feeding the baby directly, so when they say they are eating for two it usually means to be careful with what they are eating since it can affect the baby, but it does not mean to eat double the amount of food. Pregnant women are advised to eat the same number of calories the first trimester, then add 200 more calories the second trimester, and 300 more the third trimester. After birth is also a very important time to try and be healthy. After pregnancy is when most mothers have trouble losing all the extra weight they gained from their pregnancy. A few of the reasons why it is harder to lose weight after being pregnant would be because now you can drink alcohol, although not right away, they are able to eat a lot of things maybe they weren’t allowed during their pregnancy, lack of sleep due to having a newborn and most moms aren’t physically active and spend most day at home with their newborns. Most moms feel as though they no time to be active and instead only focus in their newborn. After giving birth it also takes a while for your body to heal and be the same as before. Also depending on what else you got done can also be a factor, for example, when my mom gave birth to my baby brother she got a C-section and her tubes tied because she was done having kids. Because she got both procedures done I remember her doctor advising for her to not be active and she wasn’t allowed to cook because of the heat of the stove. She definitely gained weight those two months and although it doesn’t happen overnight, it develops. Pregnancy overall can lead to obesity because of the weight gain but there is a lot of factors that also play a part in getting obesity while being pregnant and after birth.

Lack of sleep:

As I previously mentioned, lack of sleep is also a risk factor in getting obesity. It is well known that sleep deprivation causes weight gain. However, there is a lot of factors that play a part in increasing the risk of become obese. Some of those factors would include not getting enough rest, overeating, what you end up doing while awake instead of sleeping and the eating habits you develop the next day. Studies have found that kids as young as 4 years old are affected by not getting enough sleep. A study concluded that, “Short sleep duration at 4 to 5 years of age was significantly associated with higher BMI at 8 to 9 years of age. The relationship between short sleep duration at 4 to 5 years of age and higher BMI at 8 to 9 years of age was partially mediated by increased television viewing at 6 to 7 years of age”, this study shows how because kids did not sleep as much as they should have, their television time also increased which in return made their BMI higher.

Many people trying to lose often make the mistake of not getting enough sleep a priority. I know I made that mistake as well, I would go to the gym 5 days a week when I was trying to lose weight and would barely get any sleep at night. Instead of losing weight I ended up gaining a couple pounds. I gained enough pounds to make my BMI change from normal weight to overweight without even noticing. It makes sense now because I remember most of the time whenever I would stay up late I would get hungry and because it was late I did not have many food options except fast food. Most of my bad eating habits had to do with the kinds of food and the time I would eat when I wouldn’t get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep also makes people slouchy and not as active and productive with their day. It is commonly known that when you don’t have a good night’s sleep, you aren’t really very active the next day which is a reason why lack of sleep can increase the risk of getting obesity. A study was conducted to show the link between lack of sleep and obesity. The study discovered that, “women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese, compared to women who slept 7 hours per night. Short sleepers also had 30 percent higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study, compared to women who got 7 hours of sleep per night.”, proving how important sleep is to maintain a healthy weight.

Lack of sleep is a risk factor in obesity that is most commonly overlooked. Although it is realistically impossible to make sure everybody gets enough rest, there should be something done about it. Not enough people are educated about how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. However, with the right dedication and resources people can achieve at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It is important to do something about it because if we plan on doing something about obesity we need to tackle all the risk factors that lead to obesity. Lack of sleep is as much of a risk factor as having an unhealthy diet, so it should be taken as seriously. You often hear people talk about all the things you should avoid doing to not gain weight and to avoid obesity, but you do not usually hear them mention how important it is to get enough sleep other than because of how much it can make you tired.

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