It’s well known that little physical activity and fast food is related to obesity. But the evidence that these are the main causes of obesity is largely incidental. To inspire debate, experts suggest other possible causes of obesity.

From the International Journal of Obesity

1. Sleep deprivation. Getting little sleep can add to body weight. Many people get less shut-eye than ever today.
2. Pollution. Hormones manage body weight. Modern day pollutants affect our hormones.
3. Air conditioning. Burning calories is essential in maintaining weight but more people today live and work in temperature-controlled homes and offices.
4. Decreased smoking. Smoking helps reduce weight and more people smoke much less or not at all today.
5. Medicine. Different drugs including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause a weight increase. Use of these drugs is on the rise.
6. Population age and ethnicity. Middle-aged people and Hispanic-Americans tend to be more obese than young European-Americans. Americans are getting older and more Hispanic.
7. Older moms. There’s some proof that the older a woman is when she gives birth, the higher her child’s risk of obesity. Women give birth at older ages.
8. Ancestors’ environment. Some influences may skip a generation. Environmental changes that made a grandparent over weight may cause obesity in grandchildren.
9. Linked to fertility. There’s some evidence obese people are more fertile than lean ones. If obesity has a genetic component, the percentage of obese people in the population should increase.
10. Unions of obese spouses. Obese women have a propensity to marry obese men, and if obesity has a genetic component, obese people will grow in the next generation.

Remedies Review

More explanations include: a fat-inducing virus; increases in childhood depression; less consumption of dairy products; hormones used in agriculture.

Visit the International Journal of Obesity online to read more and join the debate.