What Causes Obesity

What causes Obesity in Malaysia?  How did I start to gain weight?  Well the normal reasons would be lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle and eating and drinking too much sugar rich stuff.  Well yes in a way that these are the symptoms of a unstructured life.

What causes obesity is generally high glycemic food, i.e., food that releases sugar rapidly into the bloodstream after eating/ingesting.  Examples will be white bread, white rice, doughnuts, cakes, flour based and processed food and sweet fruits like dates and bananas. Insulin, that superbly efficient mobiliser of energy, removed excess sugar from the blood.  Now, when a spike in sugar happens, a lot of insulin is produced, resulting in a whole lot of sugar beig moved into storage as visceral and subcutaneous fat.  When this happens often enough,it results in a sugar craving, because the insulin loaded into the bloodstream, results in a fast dip of sugar. So its a yo-yo effect, from being full to being hungry again.

So we piled on the sugars and we did not exert ourselves physically to remove these excess sugars, which resulted in these sugars being converted into storage in our bodies, i.e, fat.

Of course stress, anxiety, a heavy workload and genetic factors do play a role too, but to a lesser degree.  Genetic factors such as a high mitochondria count at the cellular level and the diabetic gene do play significant roles in staying off obesity and surviving famines respectively.  These genetic factors can be managed by being mindful of our food intake.  We are after all, what we eat.

The Malaysian Ministry of Health has attributed Malaysia’s rising obesity to Malaysians poor eating habits.  Malaysia is ranked 6th in Asia for obesity.

These alarming obesity statistics are attributed to the easy availability of food 24 hours a day.  Especially high glycemic food such as murtabak, fried rice, fried noodles and nasi lemak.  Sugar rich drinks such as fast food soft drinks, canned drinks and drinks using sugar rich condensed milk were found to be contributing to this rise in obesity in Malaysia.

The Malaysian Ministry of Health is planning another survey in 2011 to refresh these obesity statistics and as well as the ascertain the sharp rise in diabetes and kidney diseases in Malaysia.