Skip to main content

Unravelling Obesity

How Your Environment Shapes Your Health
Expert Articles MultiColumn 1
Expert Articles MultiColumn 1

By Leonardo Ribeiro, Personal Trainer at Balgowlah

Obesity is a serious issue with a rising global impact. Despite people consuming less energy in England, for example, obesity rates have tripled in two decades, causing about 30,000 premature deaths and costing billions yearly. While genetics and behavior are known contributors, the role of our surroundings isn't fully explored. Current obesity treatments, like medication and education, have limited success. A more innovative approach involves studying the environments that encourage overeating and inactivity. Understanding these influences could help prevent this complex problem. To truly grasp why we eat the way we do, we must consider factors like time, space, social connections, culture, and nature.

The "obesogenic" environment, as defined by Swinburn and others, encompasses all the factors that encourage obesity, making it a significant driver of the obesity epidemic. Human environments are intricate, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to study obesogenic environments. Overweight and obesity are not simply caused by one factor; evidence suggests that the environment significantly affects our diet, activity, and obesity.

In summary, our dietary choices and regular exercise routines are significantly influenced by the immediate factors that encompass our social lives, family dynamics, workplace environment, and the time we allocate to our homes. Hence, it is strongly advisable that one considers modifying these closely intertwined aspects if the aim is to alter their own habits as well as those of individuals in their immediate circle. To elucidate further, when one is encompassed by influences that foster an obesogenic environment, it can prove considerably challenging to transition towards a more health-promoting lifestyle. However, conversely, by initiating changes in one's own dietary selections and engaging in consistent physical activity, the positive impact extends not only to oneself but also to those in one's proximate social sphere. Thus, by this means, it is possible to transform an obesogenic setting into a more health-oriented environment, ultimately promoting well-being and health.


1. Fisberg M, Maximino P, Kain J, Kovalskys I. Obesogenic environment - intervention opportunities. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2016 May-Jun;92(3 Suppl 1):S30-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Mar 19.
2. Loos RJF, Yeo GSH. The genetics of obesity: from discovery to biology. Nat Rev Genet. 2022 Feb;23(2):120-133. doi: 10.1038/s41576-021-00414-z. Epub 2021 Sep 23.
3. Nicolaidis S. Environment and obesity. Metabolism. 2019 Nov;100S:153942. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2019.07.006.

Are you our next success story?

Enjoy a two week FREE experience pass, when you book a free consultation today.

Icon FacebookIcon Linkedin