What are the main causes of being overweight or obese?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,200
    Health Expert William McCarthy explains the main cause of being overweight or obese.

    William McCarthy

    Dr. William McCarthy is the Medical Director at the NOVA ABC Weight Loss Clinic

    Dr. McCarthy has been in private medical practice in the Northern Virginia area since 1976.  He received a BS (Magna cum laude) at Xavier University in Cincinnati, his M.D. degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, and served his internship and residency in Family Practice at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. McCarthy is board certified in bariatric medicine, which is the medical specialty of weight  disorders.  At this time, there are only approximatly 300 board certified bariatricians in the United States.

     He has served as the Chief of Staff and board member of Potomac Hospital here in Woodbridge.  He founded the nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education program at Potomac Hospital and served as it director for over twenty years.  He has been repeatedly voted by his peers as one of the top physicians in the D.C area in the Washington Consumer Checkbook.  Dr. McCarthy has also served as a board member of the Northern Virginia Foundation for Health and Medical Care and on the board of Physician’s Care insurance.  He was the team physician for the Prince William professional baseball team for many years, chosen by the Pirates, Yankees, Cardinals, and White Sox.   Dr. McCarthy has an outstanding reputation as a physician and educator, known not only for his broad knowledge of medicine, but also as a compassionate and caring physician.  After years of treating the health consequences that were brought on by excess weight, Dr. McCarthy decided to shift the focus of his care to the treatment and prevention of the actual cause of these medical problems.  Dr. McCarthy has attended numerous conferences, intensively studied the most current medical literature, and has spent time working with well known, experienced bariatricians in order to enhance his knowledge in the science of weight loss, metabolism, nutrition, exercise, and behavioral aspects of weight control.  He now dedicates his experience and knowledge to those who lives and health are adversely affected by their excess weight.

    Host: What are some of the main reasons that cause people to be overweight and obese?

    Dr. William McCarthy: There are number of factors that are related to obesity and overweight. First is Genetics; People maybe genetically inclined to be obese. We see obesity running in families, people who have obese parents, tend to be obese.

    Second there are environmental factors, it is how a person is raised, what kind of environment they are in, what their lifestyle is like.

    Next, we have plain old bad eating habits. People who are obese tend to skip breakfast. They tend to stack more. We also have psychological factors. There are certain psychological diseases associated with obesity. For example, nighttime eating syndrome, bulimia, binge eating disorders and also diseases like such as depression, anxiety, stress all of these factors lead to eating habits and obesity.

    Next we have Medical problems. There are certain medical conditions that are associated with obesity especially hormonal problems such as hypothyroidism, Cushing s disease and then there is the other issue of medications. There are number of medications that are used to treat common diseases that cause people to gain weight. Many times we are treating people who have obesity related diseases for example diabetes with medications that cause them to put on more and more weight. A lot of the antidepressants cause weight gain.

    Then we get into more esoteric causes, that we are just discovering, viral causes of obesity, the Human adenovirus has recently been discovered to possibly cause obesity. Even gut bacteria can alter the way food is absorbed. Some people may absorb a 100% of their food, some people 50% of their food. So, two people eat the same candy bar and get a different amount of calories in their body and it is thought that this maybe related to gut bacteria. There is a tremendous amount of research going and we will finding more and more from the cellular level, to the environmental level, to epidemiologic causes and so as we go along we are going to find that obesity and overweight is just a multifactor disease with no one single cause.