People gain weight due to a wide array of factors, including:
- A diet full of fried foods, giant portions, decadent desserts, alcohol, and sugary soft drinks
- Consuming more calories than are burned in physical activity
- Lack of sleep and physiological stress
- Use of some prescription drugs including those for depression, mood disorders, seizures, migraines, blood pressure, diabetes, steroids, hormone replacement therapy, and even oral contraceptives.
- Medical illnesses such as hypothyroidism, a deficiency of thyroid hormone, and Cushing’s syndrome, a disorder that produces an excess of the cortisol hormone.
- Aging due to the slowing of metabolism, particularly in women after menopause
Since excess weight contributes to many diseases, people are often trying a variety of diets to help them lose weight. Full-service natural food stores offer a wide variety of products that are suitable for many of the diets people follow.