Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more. This condition is considered as an epidemic in first world countries such the US. Even poor countries where thousands are suffering from malnutrition have their share of obese people. According to recent studies, there are over 300 million people worldwide who are obese. Statistics also show that more than 300,000 people in the US die every year because of obesity. Unfortunately, it seems like the increasing rate of obesity in many countries will continue. This alarming situation is brought about by several factors although unhealthy diet is the main cause. Diet and obesity go hand and hand because what we eat will definitely affect our weight.Causes of ObesityAs mentioned above, there are several causes of obesity. These are metabolism, environment, medical or psychiatric condition, genes, culture and lifestyle. Genes can cause obesity based on recent studies done. People with two copies of the fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO gene) are more at risk to obesity. In addition, some theories such as the thrifty gene hypothesis assume that some ethnic groups are more at risk to obesity.Culture, behavior, environment and lifestyle can also cause obesity. These four factors are usually interrelated. A sedentary lifestyle can be affected by the culture, environment and behavior of a person. This is the reason why most children whose parents are obese will probably become obese in the future. Lack of exercise and physical activity greatly contributes to people becoming obese.Diet and ObesityDiet and obesity are interrelated because whatever we eat and drink will have an effect to our body. Normally a person just needs 3,500 calories per day to function properly. The problem is most people these days consume more than 3,500 because they eat foods which have high calories. Sweets, sodas and fast foods are a few examples of calorie-rich foods that people love to eat. Most people think that obesity is caused by too much fat consumption. Fat especially saturated fat can indeed add more pounds however; it is the intake of too much carbohydrate is the main culprit of obesity. Diet and obesity are definitely connected so people should watch out for what they eat. Even babies these days can become obese. The fact that people these days prefer eating fast foods, sweet foods and processed foods instead of fruits and vegetables definitely contribute to the dramatic increase of obesity rate.PreventionSince the connection between improper diet and obesity has been established, it is therefore necessary for individuals to change their diet into a healthy one. Eating healthy such as eating more fruits and vegetables is recommended instead of processed foods. In addition, avoid sweetened drinks because they contribute greatly to the calorie pile up. Eating regularly is also better than eating in between meals. There are many possible options when it comes to regular eating. Some dietitians recommend small frequent meals (5 meals) everyday instead of three big ones. Some people also say that not eating after 6 pm is also very effective. Obese people can also ask their doctors for a weight loss plan. Aside from dieting, exercise as much as possible to burn your extra calories. A 30 minute exercise everyday is recommended.