Causes of Overweight


Cause details for Overweight: Children become overweight for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are genetic factors, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of these factors. In rare cases, a medical problem, such as an endocrine disorder, may cause a child to become overweight. Your physician can perform a careful physical exam and some blood tests, if necessary, to rule out this type of problem. 1

A child's total diet and his or her activity level both play an important role in determining a child's weight. The increasing popularity of television and computer and video games contributes to children's inactive lifestyles. The average American child spends approximately 24 hours each week watching television-time that could be spent in some sort of physical activity. 1

The main causes of being overweight or obese are eating too much and/or not being active enough. If you eat more calories than your body burns up, the extra calories are stored as fat. Everyone has some stored fat. Too much fat results in being overweight or obese. Other factors that may affect your weight include your genes (obesity tends to run in families), your metabolism (how your body processes food), your racial/ethnic group, and your age. Sometimes an illness or medicine can contribute to weight gain. Researchers are studying the causes of obesity to learn more about how to prevent and reverse it.2

Underlying condition causes of Overweight: The list of possible underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Overweight) mentioned in various sources as possible causes of Overweight includes:

Overweight as a complication: Other conditions that might have Overweight as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Overweight. The list of conditions listing Overweight as a complication in our database includes:

Overweight as a symptom: Conditions listing Overweight as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Overweight. The list of conditions listing Overweight as a symptom in our database includes:

Causes of Overweight: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Overweight:

Related information for causes of Overweight: Further relevant information on causes of Overweight may be found in the risk factors for Overweight and underlying causes of Overweight.

1. excerpt from Helping Your Overweight Child: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Obesity: NWHIC

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