Q:

How does a sedentary lifestyle contribute to obesity?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, there is not enough evidence to indicate that sedentary lifestyles independently cause obesity; however, studies show a correlation between low levels of activity and an increased risk of weight gain, according to PubMed. A person's weight is ultimately determined by a long-term balance between how much energy he consumes versus how much he expends or burns, and weight gain is likely when there is a combination of high dietary fat with low levels of physical activity.

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Full Answer

People who spend more time sitting accumulate more fat on their backsides and lower bodies, as reported by University Herald. Studies show that fat cells expand when under sustained pressure or load. The molecules that carry fats known as lipid droplets accumulate, and cells respond with a change and stiffening in their structure. Additionally, they push out as they expand, causing neighboring cells to change their shape and composition.

Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of mortality as well as a variety of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon cancer, lipid disorders and osteoporosis, according to the World Health Organization. People should strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, follow a healthy diet and avoid smoking.

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