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What causes weight gain?

Obesity or Weight Gain is a complex medical condition characterised by an excess of body fat, extending beyond cosmetic concerns to pose significant health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver disease, sleep apnea, and certain cancers. Various factors contribute to obesity, encompassing genetic, physiological, and environmental influences, in addition to lifestyle choices related to diet, physical activity, and exercise. The positive news is that even modest weight loss can help mitigate or prevent obesity-related health issues. Adopting a healthier diet, improving gut health, increasing physical activity, and implementing behavioural changes are effective measures for weight management.

Signs of Concern in Weight Gain

Body Mass Index

Accumulation of excess body fat, particularly around the waistline, hips, thighs, and abdomen

Lower Energy Levels

Experiencing fatigue ranging from mild to severe, accompanied by profuse sweating even during routine physical activities

Sleep Disorders

Snoring during sleep, sleep apnea characterised by irregular and periodic breathing cessation during sleep, and insomnia or difficulties with sleep

Physical Discomfort

Difficulty performing once-easy physical tasks due to weight gain, joint pain, especially in the back and knees, and the presence of stretch marks


Psychological challenges such as low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation

Root Causes of Weight Gain

While genetic, behavioural, metabolic, and hormonal factors contribute to body weight, obesity emerges when caloric intake surpasses expenditure from regular daily activities and exercise. Excess calories are stored as fat in the body.

  • Unhealthy Eating Habits

    High-calorie, low-nutrient diets with excessive fast food and large portions contribute to weight gain. Consumption of high-calorie beverages, including alcohol and sugared soft drinks, can lead to excess caloric intake.

  • Gut Microbiome Imbalance

    The composition of gut bacteria, influenced by diet, plays a crucial role in weight regulation.

  • Lack of Physical Activity

    Sedentary behaviors, including prolonged screen time, contribute to weight gain by reducing daily calorie expenditure.

  • Certain Medications

    Certain medical conditions (hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, etc.) and medications, such as steroids and some antidepressants, can contribute to weight gain.

  • Lifestyle

    Ageing, hormonal changes, decreased muscle mass, and lower metabolism increase obesity risk. Conscious dietary choices and physical activity can counteract age-related weight gain.

  • Underlying Health Conditions

    Conditions such as hiatal hernia, gastritis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can contribute to chronic acidity.

  • Lack of Sleep

    Inadequate or excessive sleep can affect hormones, increasing appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods.

  • Pregnancy

    Weight gain during pregnancy may contribute to postpartum obesity.