Could someone please tell me whether to use of or for in the sentence given below:-

Inactivity is the greatest cause of/for overweight.

Please also explain the logic used to make the distinction.

  • This is General Reference on ELU. English Language Learners may be able to explain the different prepositions. Nov 25, 2014 at 14:58
  • 1
    My comment to the original ELU question wasn't transferred across to ELL, so here is is again: Note that overweight is an adjective, so it's incorrect here (obesity is a suitable noun replacement). Idiomatically, "Inactivity is the greatest cause of obesity" is better (grammatically, I mean - I'm sure overeating is a far more significant factor if we're talking factually). Nov 25, 2014 at 15:29
  • Per The Free Dictionary, overweight is both an adjective and a noun.
    – Khan
    Nov 28, 2014 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


Inactivity is a cause for concern because it is the greatest cause of obesity.

Cause for X = reason to have X (reason to be concerned)

Cause of X = that which produces X (factor that creates obesity)

You must log in to answer this question.