Nowadays, there are frequent speculations on the causes of obesity and attempts to pinpoint the reasons for that widespread problem which has a grave impact on human health.

One reason for weight gain and obesity is insufficient or no physical exercise. This is due to Americans' favorite pastime: lazing away in front of the TV or the computer. There is an increasing number of couch and mouse potatoes these days. People tend to do this almost 24/7, either in their workplace or at school. The lengthy period of time spent viewing social networking sites is another serious issue.

Some suggestions that Americans should do some exercise, they allot that time to watching TV. In contrast, in many countries with no obesity problems it is not so unusual to see people walking to school or to work or cycling. It is a sad fact that our students do not bother to exercise enough. These leads to obesity, as they do not burn the hefty amount of calories taken in with foods and beverages all day long. As they gain weight, people face an increasing number of health hazards leading to diseases that are common nowdays, like coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer, to name but a few.

One of the reasons that prevent people from doing exercise is the insufficient opportunities for working out. For example, some neighborhoods have no sidewalks. This is not safe for those who want to exercise. The absence of parks and sports facilities also discourages them from stretching their legs. Furthermore, working for hours behind a desk as well as commuting also deprives us of opportunities to slim down.

Last but not least, Americans are offered king-size portions of food in all kinds of eateries from cafes to upscale restaurants. Most of these portions would suffice for a couple of people. By consuming hefty amounts of foods high in calories and fats, our bodies store the extra amounts and we become obese.

In downscale blocks, supermarkets that stock healthy foods such as fruit or vegetables are few and far between. In addition, such healthy produce is often too expensive for many people. People on a low income tend to prefer fast food outlets that offer foods packed with sugar and fats. Add to that the zillions of food commercials targeting mostly children and featuring enticing calorie-packed foods or beverages. To help the fight with obesity, such commercials should be at least limited, as they are just as harmful as cigarette commercials.