Causes of Obesity in the U.S.




According to the CDC, the average man is 5’9″ and weighs 195.5 lb and the average woman is 5’4″ and weighs 166.2 lb. Overall, 73.9% of individuals living in North America are overweight. The reason for this obesity epidemic is straightforward – and it has nothing to do with Carbohydrates or Fat consumption – it is the result of simple math: calories in, calories out.

US Obesity Chart

The First Law of Fat says that anything you eat beyond your immediate need for energy, from avocados to ziti, converts to fat.”

Obesity is not only the major nutrition-related disease of our time, but it is also the leading cause of some of the most prevalent preventable diseases. Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and certain cancers are only a handful of complications resulting from obesity. You can learn more from our page on obesity facts and statistics.




Most lifestyle choices you make impact your health in some way. Broadly speaking the main causes of obesity are inactivity and overconsumption. What does this mean?

  1. How does inactivity cause obesity? People are more sedentary now than they’ve ever been before. People have desk jobs versus physically-demanding jobs, people drive instead of walking or biking, people spend time watching television instead of playing outside or working out. All of these small changes mean that people don’t burn a lot of calories during the day. 
  2. How does overconsumption cause obesity? People eat a diet that is unhealthy in numerous ways, such as eating processed foods (with preservatives, high in sodium, not nutritionally dense), eating out at restaurants or eating fast food / junk food, but most importantly people eat more calories than their bodies need.

If you eat too much, and you don’t burn enough of it, you’re going to gain weight over time.

Environmental and Individual Factors in Obesity

Environmental and Individual Factors in Obesity.