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FOR TEENS - Why do people gain weight?
Reasons for gaining weight

Predictably, people cited overeating and drinking are the main reasons. The reasons behind this, though, were complex and interesting:

* boredom
* depression
* comfort
* constant availability of food (including convenience foods)
* bad eating habits
* eating at the wrong time
* always finishing all the food on the plate
* rewarding behavior with sweet treats, and nurturing through food
* snack eating
* eating the wrong foods
* 'healthy' food is more expensive

Lack of exercise was also cited, with the reasons behind it including:

* laziness/too tired after work
* sedentary leisure activities (eg watching television, computer games)
* unable to exercise because of injury, or just too big
* prohibitive cost of health clubs/exercise classes
* being housebound

Health professionals

They gave broadly similar reasons for the prevalence of overweight as the general public, but also cited other reasons:

* poverty
* poor nutrition education
* poor literacy
* poor labelling of products by both manufacturers and supermarkets
* lack of availability of fruit and vegetables in some (particularly urban) areas
* lack of traditional cooking skills

Major reasons

The appetite is also geared for survival and has been set to prevent weight loss. When there are excess calories available, appetite promotes weight gain by ensuring that the individual will rather eat ‘too much’ than ‘too little’. Matching Energy Intake and Energy Expenditure is therefore extremely difficult. A small mismatch of, for example, 1% can lead to the accumulation of 10 000 Calories per year, resulting in a weight gain of 1-2 kg per annum.

‘Survival of the fittest’ ensured that only the most efficient energy hoarders and biggest eaters survived, thereby passing these genetic qualities on to future generations.

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