What factors have been identified as contributing to obesity?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Obesity, a topic that is getting much attention these days, is obviously caused by overeating; in its simplest form, obesity is the accumulation of many more calories taken in than expended by a person.  That being said, what causes a person to overeat in such a way that he or she doesn't just gain a few pounds here and there, but becomes much heavier than is appropriate?  Many experts have identified unhealthy eating patterns as related to emotional eating; one expert, Bob Greene, a frequent contributor to Oprah's talk show, has often said that very often, obese people are quite literally wearing their pain.  Eating to camoflauge unpleasant feelings, such as those related to abuse, seems to be common among many obese people, as well as eating to deal with stress.