You’re at risk of obesity if one or both of your parents is overweight or obese. This might be because you share the same 3as your parents. Or it could be because family members tend to eat the same things and have a similar lifestyle.
Genes are in every cell in your body. They tell cells how to grow and what to do. The ob genetells the cells in your body that store fat to make a chemical called leptin. Leptin tells the brain how hungry or how full you feel. It also helps your body burn the food you eat to keep you warm.
You might eat too much as a way of dealing with painful or difficult emotions. Perhaps you eat when you feel unhappy or bored, even when you don’t feel hungry. This is often called comfort eating. It can be hard to break this habit.
Many things make it more likely that you’ll gain too much weight. If you’re overweight, there’s a risk you might get obese.
- Your sex: Women are slightly more likely to be overweight than men are.
- Your ethnic group: Women who are Mexican American or African-American are particularly at risk.
- Age: Men and women are most likely to gain weight between the ages of 20 and 40.
- Menopause: The changes in levels of during can make it easier to gain weight.
- Drinking too much alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are high in calories.
- Quitting smoking: Quitting smoking is good for your health, but you might gain weight afterward.
- Being married: Married people are more likely to be overweight than those who stay single.
- Having children: Women are likely to gain about 2 pounds each time they have a baby.
- Poor education: People who do less well at school are more likely to get obese later in life.
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