Weight gain

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia


Editor-In-Chief: Prab R Tumpati, MD
Obesity, Sleep & Internal medicine
Founder, WikiMD Wellnesspedia &
W8MD medical weight loss and sleep centers

Weight gain is a multifactorial phenomenon resulting from various underlying reasons. While some causes can be influenced by personal choices, others may be uncontrollable.

Processed Foods and Weight Gain Study

Age-Related Weight Gain

Causes of weight gain

A natural decline in metabolic rate occurs with age. If not accompanied by adjustments in diet or physical activity, this slowing metabolism can lead to weight gain.

Insulin Resistance

190lbs after

A major factor in weight gain, often overlooked, is insulin resistance. The compensatory increase in insulin that arises due to this resistance can profoundly impact weight. This phenomenon is observed in up to 71% of the U.S. population. The lack of awareness about the anabolic properties of insulin has led many healthcare professionals to misunderstand weight gain in patients. Additionally, guidelines like the now-discarded food pyramid have exacerbated this problem.

Medication-Induced Weight Gain

Several medications, including corticosteroids, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, can lead to weight gain. It is pivotal to weigh the benefits against the risks and consider weight-neutral alternatives when feasible.

Hormonal Imbalances and Weight Gain

Various hormonal imbalances can be implicated in unintentional weight gain:

Cushing syndrome Hypothyroidism Metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome Menopause Fluid retention in the body Cessation of smoking: Weight gain post-quitting smoking is not solely linked to increased caloric intake.

Nutritional Factors

Inadequate nutrition or poor dietary choices can also be culprits behind weight gain.

Genetic Predisposition

Although not the primary determinant for everyone, genetic factors can play a role in weight gain for some individuals.

Eating Disorders and Obesity

Conditions such as food addiction or sensitivities can directly contribute to weight gain.

Sleep and Weight Gain

The relationship between sleep disorders and weight gain is bidirectional. Sleep issues can lead to weight gain, and vice versa.

Environmental Factors

The environment, encompassing community, home, and workplace, can significantly influence health choices. The presence or absence of physical activity-friendly spaces, such as parks or fitness centers, can make a notable difference. Recognizing environmental opportunities and hurdles is crucial for promoting healthy lifestyles.

Racial Disparities in Weight Gain

Racial backgrounds like African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are observed to have a higher incidence of obesity than Caucasians.

Economic Influences

Lower economic status often correlates with higher obesity rates in many nations. This is, in part, due to government policies that make unhealthy foods affordable while healthier alternatives become pricier.

Stress-Induced Weight Gain

The body's physiological response to stress involves releasing corticosteroids, which can, in turn, lead to weight gain.

Circadian Rhythms and Weight Gain

Individuals with erratic sleep patterns, including shift workers, are more prone to weight gain.


Understanding the myriad causes of weight gain is vital for developing effective weight management strategies. Both individuals and healthcare professionals must be informed about these factors to tailor interventions and ensure healthier outcomes.

Related articles and links

Obesity and weight loss resources in the United States

Areas and territories that belong to the United States:


External Resources & AI tools
Up To Date
AI tools
Artificial intelligence

WikiMD is the world's largest, free medical and wellness encyclopedia edited only by professionals. Advertise!

Transform Your Life with W8MD Weight Loss Centers

Ready to Shed Those Extra Pounds?

Experience the power of transformation with W8MD!

W8MD weight loss doctors team


Discover our convenient locations:


  • Address: 1718 Welsh Road, 2nd Floor, Ste C, Philadelphia, PA 19115
  • Phone: (215) 676-2334

King Of Prussia

  • Address: 175 Strafford Ave, Ste 1, Wayne, PA 19087

New York

  • Address: 2632 E 21st Street Ste L3, Brooklyn, New York 11235
  • Phone: (718) 946-5500

Why Choose W8MD?

Transform your life with W8MD's Physician Weight Loss program:

Tele-weight loss options

Live far and cannot come to the office? We do offer convenient tele weight loss options!

Book Your Appointment

Ready to take the first step towards a healthier you? Book your appointment today:



Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD, Spt