Half of Americans claimed that they had gained some weight during the first year of the pandemic. This increased the obesity rate of many states in the country.
Since the pandemic began, obesity rates have been rising in many states. In fact. Obesity can lead to various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy weight during any period, but it’s crucial during a pandemic.
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for many reasons. However, not only can obesity lead to health problems, but it can also be expensive. Obesity costs the United States $147 billion per year. That’s more than the cost of smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse combined. But why exactly are obesity rates so rampant in the country? Also, what can you do about it?
Reasons for Obesity
There are many varying reasons for obesity, making it challenging to know which exact reason is causing the rampant rise of obesity. Let us first discuss the reason we’ve mentioned earlier: the pandemic.
As we stated earlier, the pandemic has caused many people to gain weight. This is due to many factors, but mainly because of the abrupt lifestyle change.
Before the pandemic, many people were already obese. However, the stress of the pandemic has made these conditions worse. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol tells your body to store fat, especially around your waistline. This can lead to obesity and other health problems.
Moreover, people who undergo a lot of stress can also start ‘stress eating.’ Stress eating can lead to weight gain, as well. People who are stressed may turn to food for comfort, and they may not be able to stop eating even when they’re full.
You might have noticed that stress plays a significant role in obesity. This just shows how critical role mental health plays in people’s bodies.
When people talk about obesity, people don’t think about mental health. But mental health plays a huge reason why people are obese. For example, when people are depressed, they’re more likely to be obese. When people are depressed, they may not have the energy to exercise or eat healthily, and as stated earlier, some may also turn to food for comfort.
Moreover, people with bipolar disorder are also at a higher risk for obesity. When people with bipolar disorder are in a manic state, they often overindulge in food and make poor decisions about their diet.
Depression and bipolar disorder aren’t the only mental health conditions that can lead to obesity. For example, anxiety disorders can also cause someone to become obese. In addition, people with anxiety disorders often have trouble sleeping, leading to weight gain.
In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders are also at risk for obesity. This is because people with eating disorders often have an unhealthy relationship with food. For example, they may overexercise, or they may not eat enough. This can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
If you’re experiencing stress, depression, or anxiety during the pandemic, visit a mental health professional. They even have online sessions now, making it easier for you to access them.
This is another factor that people think isn’t related to obesity. But dental health can play a role in obesity. People who have poor dental health tend not to chew their food correctly. This can lead to more significant chunks of food entering their stomach. Bigger chunks of food take a longer time to digest and expand their stomach rapidly.
If you’ve been suffering from poor dental health and are becoming overweight, it’s important that you improve your dental health. Additionally, if you’re experiencing crooked teeth, making it harder for you to chew, feel free to ask your local dentist for an Invisalign retainer. These retainers can keep your teeth straight, and they can also protect them from external and internal damage.
Lack of Exercise
In addition to the stress of the pandemic, another reason for obesity is lack of exercise. When you don’t get enough exercise, your body stores fat. This is because your body doesn’t need the energy, so it stores the fat for later use.
Now, we know that many people can’t go to the gym or do strenuous exercises during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get any exercise at all. There are many ways to get exercise without going to the gym. You can take a walk around your neighborhood, or you can ride your bike. You can even dance in your living room!
Obesity is a major problem in the United States, and it’s not just because people are eating too much. There are many factors that play into obesity, including mental health, dental health, and lack of exercise.
If you’re struggling with obesity, visit a mental health professional. They can help you deal with it. Also, ask your friends and family members to help you out.