Is Obesity From Hereditary Genes or Your Surroundings?
Obesity is a rising, complex health problem that the entire world is facing.
Americans are facing an obesity population that is expected to rise over the next several decades to a point that equates to nearly half of the population being considered obese. Obesity can be directly blamed for a number of serious, life-threatening illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. A common question that comes to mind is whether or not obesity is from hereditary genes or your surroundings.
Doctors and researchers are diligently trying to determine the answer to that question. Some scientific studies do point to genetics as the cause for obesity. However, recent studies indicate a person’s social network may also affect their tendency to become obese. So, is obesity a direct result of your hereditary genes or are your surroundings to blame?
The answer, both explanations apply to the cause of obesity. A person who has an obese parent is more likely to be obese. This can be explained by using both the above mentioned reasons. A mother who is overweight during her pregnancy is more likely to have a baby, who is born at an above average weight. The baby will require more food in order to become satisfied. More food means more calories, which means more weight.
This same parent is more likely to maintain an unhealthy diet that contributes to obesity. Children of obese parents are more likely to be brought up on the same unhealthy dietary choices. The diet of the parent is passed along to the child leading to the child becoming overweight during the childhood years which tend to lead to obesity during adulthood. Although, it is only fair to mention that some genetic medical conditions can attribute to obesity.
A person’s social network also plays a role in obesity. Those that have co-workers, family members and friends who are obese are more likely to be obese. This supports the fact that obesity is caused by your surroundings rather than hereditary genes. Researchers believe that a social network that is comprised of obese people is more likely to have poor eating and exercise habits thus influencing all the members of that group.
Experts cannot conclusively blame obesity on genetics alone. In fact, the underlying cause is the parents’ inadvertently teaching a child poor diet and exercise habits that ultimately lead to a life of obesity.Do you want to learn more about your genes and heredity? Go to Genes Reunited to see your family history.
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