Obesity: 5 causes and solutions

More than one-third of U.S adults and 17% of children are obese in 2019, according to figures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity has become an epidemic in many countries, which makes it one of the biggest health problems in the world. In fact, overweight or obese people face a lot of complications and consequences which negatively affect both their health and mind. 

Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, the abbot of Ba Vang Pagoda shows you 5 causes of obesity and its solutions that can help you overcome this complex disease.

5 causes of obesity

#1 Overeating—the common cause of obesity

“Overeating is the first cause of obesity,” declared Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh. As the food industry is growing very fast, people have more conditions and choices to make when it comes to meals. Especially fast food—a kind of convenient but unhealthy food—is becoming more popular with many people. “Overeating is one of the leading causes of being overweight. No one says that I go obese because of breathing or drinking water only,” added Thay. Eating is an indispensable part of each one, as we remain alive thanks to the intake to our body. Yet, consuming an excessive amount of food without control is very bad for our health. It leads to not only weight gain which later makes us obese but also other health problems that threaten our life.

#2 Oversleeping makes it hard to control weight

Oversleeping is the second reason that leads to obesity. We spend about one-third of our life sleeping. Oversleeping is a big contributor to obesity. It also makes us tired, inactive and prone to memory loss. One should get enough sleep, not too much yet not too little. People sleeping over nine hours are 21% more likely to become obese than normal sleepers according to a Canadian study.

Oversleeping contributes to weight gain and obesity.
Oversleeping contributes to weight gain and obesity.

#3 Abusing a convenient life

Abusing a way too convenient life is also a cause of obesity, especially in the modern age. As society is becoming more modern and convenient than ever, people exercise less and perform fewer manual tasks than they used to.

Current technology allows us to wake up in a smart bedroom, and be served breakfast and coffee by robots in our smart kitchen. Next, we can be transported to work by our smart cars. Everything seems so easy that we do not need to physically, mentally and socially operate ourselves to get things done. We have relied too much on the help of technology to some extent. This dependence will render us inactive human beings. About this matter, Thay shared: “Convenience is not so good for a human’s development. Yet humans by nature prefer convenience, which originates from our laziness. Lack of physical activity causes many diseases. So children from rich families are more likely to become obese than those from poor families.” Take advantage of the technology and utilise them in a discerning manner, we will lead a more healthy life.

>>> Children’s Health & Creativity: Electronic Devices

#4 Lazy thinking

This is quite an underlying reason for obesity that not many people think of. “Those lazy thinkers who have nothing in their mind and do not care about others are more likely to become obese,” Thay said. Lazy thinkers tend to eat more than thoughtful ones. This is because people who are lazy to think are unlikely to devise a plan for themselves and complete their tasks to achieve goals. Thus, they will become passive and may resort to eating to satisfy their needs and pass their valuable time. This is a fact, especially common for the youth today. Many youngsters do not pay attention to their schoolings and family. They are becoming lazy and unthoughtful. In order not to be lazy, we should be strict with ourselves in everyday activities so that our mind and body will not be passive. Thus, we will decrease the risk of obesity.

#5 Being bone idle and doing nothing—high risks of obesity

People do say that: “Doing nothing is doing ill”. When we are too bone idle, our mind often thinks of bad stuff and we are likely to damage our body, resulting in illness. Doing nothing worsens our ability. Our body is like an engine. If it is not regularly used, it will be out of order. Likewise, if we do not have a specific plan for ourselves to practise our mind and body, we will become tired and sluggish, hence our obesity.

Solutions to obesity 

Be mindful of food intake, that is the way to control obesity. (Photo: Participants of the 2-day Meditation Experience Programme performing rituals before having lunch at Ba Vang Pagoda.)
Be mindful of food intake, that is the way to control obesity. (Photo: Participants of the 2-day Meditation Experience Programme performing rituals before having lunch at Ba Vang Pagoda.)


Always be mindful and aware of our behaviours. Especially “when you eat, be aware of food intake,” taught Thay. They say the mouth is the root of all misfortune. Our body is nurtured by food and drink intake through our mouth. If we cannot control our intake, we will have many diseases. We should know our food intake and control it. Eating is also a great matter of practice and cultivation. “Those who can control their eating habits are smart practitioners. How you eat can reveal your personality. Greedy eaters are also greedy in five desires. People like those are unlikely to be good ones. They can easily become traitors. We have to cultivate ourselves even in eating and drinking. Be mindful of your food intake. Know yourself and others,” Thay taught.


  1. Adult Obesity Facts”, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
  2. “Childhood Obesity Facts”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019.
  3. The Association Between Sleep Duration and Weight Gain in Adults: A 6-Year Prospective Study from the Quebec Family Study. Jean-Philippe Chaput, Jean-Pierre Després, Claude Bouchard and Angelo Tremblay, 2008.

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  • Maria
    Posted April 9, 2020 6:48 pm 0Likes

    I believe that sleeping too much causes obesity. I have slept for 10 hours a day for a long time and then I am overweight. It’s terrible

  • Liz
    Posted April 11, 2020 8:42 am 0Likes

    if one day I go obese, it must be that I have all these bad habits. very good article, thank you Thay!

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