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Why is it so easy to gain weight?

There are a lot of reasons for gaining weight but it’s often a combination of factors. The world we live in, and our experiences can make it harder to be a healthy weight – see the infographic below.

Credit: Cancer Research UK

In most countries around the world, more and more people are becoming overweight or obese.  This does vary between countries and unfortunately, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia are among those most affected.

There is a general agreement that these changes have occurred because the world we live in has changed so much over the last century.  We travel by car, we tend to do less active jobs, which means our lives can be less active. We also have a wider range of food and drink available to us at all times of the day, everywhere we go.  These foods are often highly processed and are high in fat and sugar which means we consume more food and more energy.  All of these factors make it harder to be at a healthy weight, for more information see the infographic:

For you, food or drink may help you cope with challenging times or when life is dull. This means you may use food or drink as a ‘quick fix’ to improve your mood or for comfort. You may eat differently when life is difficult, or you are bored and you might have cravings for foods that make you feel better.

You may have developed a habit that you are finding hard to change. For example, eating a particular food or drink at the same time or occasion on a regular basis, for example after work as your reward for the day or a regular takeaway. Food or drink may also be an important part of your social life and you might be worried that it would be difficult to make changes and still socialise.

You may also find managing your weight has become harder as you age, or with certain life stages (e.g. menopause).

The changes you make for a healthier weight need to be right for you and you can make changes for a healthier lifestyle and still keep the enjoyment in life.

You may find focusing on your emotional well-being a good way to start your journey.

Here are some individual reasons for weight gain:

Continue your journey

Click on the next page Long-term healthy weight management to continue your journey.


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