Body weight increases if a person consumes more calories than they expend. The excess calories are stored as fat in the body. Therefore, overeating and a sedentary lifestyle are the most common reasons for obesity. Other causes are listed below:


Obesity may run in the family. Genetic obesity can be caused by leptin deficiency. Leptin hormone signals to the brain that body fat is too high, thereby curbing appetite. So, leptin deficiency means this appetite control does not take place, leading to obesity.


Overeating can cause obesity, especially if the diet is rich in fatty and sugary foods that mount up the calories.

Slow metabolism:

Lack of muscle slows down the metabolism and the body does not burn that many calories. This is the reason why women tend to put on weight and also find it difficult to lose flab. Older people also lose muscle and therefore tend to put on weight, particularly if they maintain the same daily calorie intake.

Sedentary lifestyle:

Inactive people tend to put on weight and surveys reveal a sedentary lifestyle is strongly linked to obesity in both men and women.

Certain medications:

Medicines that can cause weight gain include certain antidepressants, anticonvulsants (to control seizures) like valproate (Depakene, Depacon), carbamaepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol XR, Tegretol), diabetes medications like thiazoldinediones, sulfonylureas and insulin, oral contraceptives and corticosteroids like prednisone. Some antihistamines and medications for blood pressure can also cause this effect.

Psychological causes:

People who are unable to cope with emotions such as anger, stress, sadness, boredom etc. may turn to binge eating for solace.


Conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism can also cause obesity.