What Is The Cause For Overweight & Obesity?

Lack of Energy Balance

A lack of energy balance most often causes overweight and obesity. Energy balance means that your energy IN equals your energy OUT.

Energy IN is the amount of energy or calories you get from food and drinks. Energy OUT is the amount of energy your body uses for things like breathing, digesting, and being physically active.What Is The Cause For Overweight & Obesity?To maintain a healthy weight, your energy IN and OUT don’t have to balance exactly every day. It’s the balance over time that helps you maintain a healthy weight.


  • The same amount of energy IN and energy OUT over time = weight stays the same
  • More energy IN than energy OUT over time = weight gain
  • More energy OUT than energy IN over time = weight loss

Overweight and obesity happen over time when you take in more calories than you use.

Other Causes

An Inactive Lifestyle

Many Americans aren’t very physically active. One reason for this is that many people spend hours in front of TVs and computers doing work, schoolwork, and leisure activities. In fact, more than 2 hours a day of regular TV viewing time has been linked to overweight and obesity.

Other reasons for not being active include: relying on cars instead of walking, fewer physical demands at work or at home because of modern technology and conveniences, and lack of physical education classes in schools.

People who are inactive are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn the calories that they take in from food and drinks. An inactive lifestyle also raises your risk for coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer, and other health problems.

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