There is a vast variety of factors that affect the onset of obesity. It’s important to be aware of the various factors. One major factor in specific is the environment. Your environment is not only the physical components that surround you, but also the people and media influences in your day to life. Here are some environmental factors that may increase the risk of obesity:
1. Prenatal Care
Developmental life is extremely vital in how one's health is shaped in early life. Pregnant women’s actions have a major impact on their infant's immediate health. Smoking or drinking during pregnancy has been linked to higher rates of obesity in children. Unfortunately, women suffering from obesity are also more likely to pass on the condition to their children as well.
2. Social Class
As unfair as it is, social class can have a major effect on the risk of obesity. Multiple studies have shown that people in lower economic standing tend to be at a higher risk of developing obesity. This is more often than not due to the fact that healthier food alternatives tend to be a lot more expensive than their junk food counterparts. It can be quite difficult for underprivileged families to afford a healthier diet.
3. Parental Influence
Of course, we tend to pick up many habits from our parents as they tend to be our main model figures. Parents who don’t necessarily pay attention to healthy meals may instill this habit in their children as well. This can lead to an increased risk of obesity as adults, or even childhood obesity. Similarly, children who are part of a family that doesn't stay frequently active are more likely to develop obesity over time.
4. Social Media
Social media has become a massive part of many people's lives. Often times, ads and even friends’ posts can inadvertently influence our lives. For example, junk food is often marketed in a sensual “you must have it” method. This can influence our buying habits negatively. Sometimes social media can be a positive, however. An example of this would be following mindful living pages or friends who also participate in staying fit.
Albuquerque, D. (2017). The contribution of genetics and environment to obesity. British Medical Bulletin, Volume 123, Issue, 159-173.
Health, H. S. (n.d.). Obesity Prevention Source. Retrieved from HSPH Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/