A History of Obesity

A History of Obesity

While obesity and overweight have always been a problem, it has become increasingly common in recent years.

Over the past century, obesity has become an increasingly common occurrence. Obesity is a symptom of a larger problem – an ever-changing society with a lack of physical activity, unhealthy diets, and a growing sedentary lifestyle. In this article, we’ll explore the timeline of obesity history and discuss how it’s evolved throughout the years.


The terms “obesity” and “overweight” are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person has too much body fat. Overweight, on the other hand, simply means having more weight than is considered healthy for a person’s height.

While obesity and overweight have always been a problem, it has become increasingly common in recent years. In the United States, for example, the number of people who are obese has more than doubled since 1980. Globally, obesity has also been on the rise, with estimates suggesting that there are now more obese people in the world than those who are underweight.

There are a number of reasons why obesity has become more common. One of the most important factors is changes in diet. People today consume more calories and eat more unhealthy foods than they did in the past. Other factors include being less active and having easy access to high-calorie foods.

Obesity can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and joint problems. It can also cause emotional difficulties such as low self-esteem and depression. Treating obesity often requires making changes to diet and lifestyle. In some cases, medication or surgery may also be necessary.

Causes of Obesity

What causes obesity? While the exact cause of obesity is unknown, there are several contributing factors. One factor may be genetics. Studies have shown that overweight and obese people tend to have a family history of obesity. Another factor may be an imbalance in hormones. Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain when we are full. People who are obese may have a resistance to leptin, meaning that they don’t feel full even when they’ve eaten enough food. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. Additionally, some medical conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and Prader-Willi syndrome, can cause weight gain and obesity. Lastly, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are also major contributors to obesity.

Prevalence of Obesity Through Time

The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically over the past several decades. In the United States, the prevalence of obesity among adults increased from 15% in 1980 to 36% in 2014. Among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years, the prevalence increased from 5% to 17% over the same period.

Causes of this increase are likely attributable to a combination of factors. These include increases in energy intake (i.e., calories consumed) and decreases in physical activity. Other possible contributors include changes in dietary composition (e.g., increased consumption of added sugars and fats), genetics, hormonal factors, medications, and social/environmental influences.

The consequences of obesity are serious and numerous. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon), fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and joint problems. Obesity also is associated with poorer mental health and decreased quality of life.

There are a number of effective strategies for preventing and treating obesity. These include lifestyle interventions (e.g., increasing physical activity and improving diet) as well as pharmacologic and surgical treatments. It is important to work with a healthcare team when making decisions about treatment options

Factors Contributing To The Rise Of Obesity Over The Last Century

There are many factors that have contributed to the rise of obesity over the last century. The following are some of the most significant:

The industrial revolution led to a more sedentary lifestyle as people began working in factories instead of farming or other manual labor. This change in lifestyle made it easier for people to gain weight.

The introduction of processed foods and fast food restaurants also played a role in the obesity epidemic. These foods are high in calories and fat, and they are readily available and affordable.

Another factor that has contributed to the rise in obesity is our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. We are less active than we used to be, and this lack of activity can lead to weight gain.

The rising rates of obesity are also due in part to our growing waistlines. As we age, our bodies tend to store more fat, and this can lead to weight gain.

Finally, genetics play a role in obesity. Some people are simply predisposed to carrying more weight than others.

Health Consequences of Obesity

There are a number of health consequences associated with obesity. These include an increased risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Being obese can also lead to joint problems, sleep apnoea and mental health issues.

The good news is that even modest weight loss can help to reduce the risk of developing some of these conditions. So, if you’re carrying around extra weight, it’s important to do something about it.

Prevention/ Treatments For Obesity

There are many ways to prevent and treat obesity. Some of the most common methods include:

-Diet and Exercise: A balanced diet and regular exercise are the two most important things you can do to prevent obesity. Eating a healthy diet includes choosing foods that are low in calories, fat, and sugar, and high in fiber. Exercising regularly will help you burn off any excess calories and keep your weight under control.

-Weight Loss Surgery: For people who are severely obese, weight loss surgery may be an option. This type of surgery helps to reduce the size of your stomach, so you feel full faster and eat less overall. It can also help to change the way your body absorbs nutrients from food, so you absorb fewer calories.

-Medications: There are a number of medications that can be used to treat obesity, including appetite suppressants, fat blockers, and diabetes medications. These medications can help you lose weight by making it easier to control your hunger or by preventing your body from absorbing all of the calories from the food you eat.

Social/Cultural Implications of Taboos Surrounding Obesity

The social and cultural implications of taboos surrounding obesity are numerous and far-reaching. Perhaps the most obvious implication is the negative impact these taboos have on the self-esteem and body image of those who are obese.feelings of shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness are all too common among obese individuals, thanks in part to the way society treats them. Obesity is often seen as a sign of laziness or lack of self-control, and those who suffer from it are often ridiculed or ostracized. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

In addition to the mental health implications, there are also physical implications to consider. Obese individuals are at an increased risk for a number of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. And yet, due to the stigma surrounding obesity, many people suffer in silence rather than seek help or treatment. They may be embarrassed to talk to their doctor about their weight, or they may not even realize that their weight is a problem. As a result, many obesity-related health problems go undiagnosed and untreated.

Finally, there are societal implications to consider. The discrimination and mistreatment of obese individuals leads to a number of problems for society as a whole. For one thing, it perpetuates the cycle of poverty by preventing obese individuals from getting jobs or receiving adequate healthcare. It also contributes to poor public health overall; after all, if people


It is clear that obesity has been a problem for centuries and its causes have only become more complex with industrialization. Understanding the history of obesity can help us to understand current trends in health and nutrition, as well as shed light on what we should be doing differently in terms of prevention. It is also important to remember that everyone’s lifestyle and genetics are unique, so it is important to consult a medical professional before making any significant changes in diet or exercise regime. With the right knowledge and support, anyone can make healthier choices even if they are predisposed to gaining weight easily.


MetropolMed has started providing services at the hospital in Tirana, Albania, with which we have an agreement.
MetropolMed has started providing services at the hospital in Tirana, Albania, with which we have an agreement.