Rashid Centre for
Diabetes & Research

Why do we become obese?

An imbalance between energy intake and energy consumption

Obesity is a complicated disease. It tends to run in families suggesting a genetic link. Consumption of food high in calories (excessive sugar and fat) and not enough exercise are the main risk factors for overweight and obesity. Too large energy intake (food) in relation to the body's energy consumption (exercise) results in an energy surplus which is stored in the body as fat. If this energy imbalance continues for an extended period of time, it will lead to overweight or obesity.

Some surplus can be compensated for through increased physical activity. Physical activity increases energy consumption but physical activity also reduces the appetite and improves the regulation of nutritional intake. Studies have shown that physical activity leads to lower BMI and can prevent the origin of obesity.