A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 3: Weight Management 48 • Drugs. Several drugs can increase appetite and/or slow metabolism thereby causing weight gain as a side effect. Some of these drugs include: corticosteroids, estrogen and progesterone, specific anticancer medications, antidepressants and certain psychiatric drugs. • Socioeconomic status. Individuals who are below-average income, less-educated and/or unemployed have a higher incidence of obesity. • Age. Fat mass tends to increase with age through adulthood and eventually decline when elderly. • Gender. Obesity is more prevalent in women than in men. • Ethnicity. Obesity is more prevalent in African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander populations. Although the exact causes for these disparities are not fully understood, it is believed to be due, at least in part, to differences in social and economic advantage related to ethnicity (Krueger & Reither, 2015). • Psychological factors. Some individuals have used food as a means of coping with stress. Binge eating, and other unhealthy eating habits, can develop when eating becomes the primary means of dealing with stress (Fahey et al., 2011). • Dieting. When an individual embarks on a diet, the body enacts self-protective measures in response to a perceived famine or starvation. When eating patterns are normalized, the body returns to a weight it prefers to be at for optimal function and health (Tomiyama et al., 2012). Determining Daily Energy Requirements Figure 3.3 depicts the percentages of caloric expenditure associated with the four major bodily processes: basal metabolic rate (i.e., rate at which the body uses energy at rest), non-exercise activity thermogenesis (i.e., amount of energy expended performing daily tasks), thermal effect of food (i.e., amount of energy expended processing food for use and storage), and exercise activity thermogenesis (i.e., amount of energy expended while exercising). As you can see from the pie chart, basal metabolic rate requires the most caloric expenditure and exercise requires the least, which may be a surprise to some. However, the percentage associated with exercise can increase significantly (e.g., up to 20-25%) for those individuals training at extremely high levels of intensity and/or volume (e.g., > 6 hours of training per day).