Big fat inheritance.... Is obesity hereditary?

  • By Team TDO

Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than required, which the body stores in the form of fat and which keep piling up with subsequent excess intakes. So, the simple solution would seem to be to consume fewer calories than which the body burns and that would be the end of fat woes the world over, would it not? Wish things were that simple! Unfortunately the way the human body processes energy and how it responds to exercise is not dependant on any one single factor.

There are several factors that influence weight such as:

  1. Heredity
  2. Lifestyle & Habits
  3. Eating patterns
  4. Environment

Yes there is a definite link between heredity and obesity though it is not to be taken as a given. Yes genes will indicate a certain weight trend give or take a few pounds but with regards to obesity the gene will manifest itself give the right conditions i.e. an unhealthy lifestyle, too much television and little exercise. So just because a person has obesity running in his family doesn't necessarily mean he will be obese though you can lay a bet on that if he has a sedentary lifestyle and is a couch potato who guzzles soda pops and gorges on pizzas.

In general the following factors are also required to make obesity a genetic certainty:

  1. Pre-Natal & Post Natal Influences
  2. Unhealthy Diets
  3. Toxic Lifestyle and Environment

Source: Harvard school of public health

A study published in the ‘International Journal of Obesity’ has revealed the scientists’ findings in a study of 226 families in Plymouth. Their observation was that obese mothers were 10 times likely to beget obese daughters while, the chances of obese males siring obese male children was 6 times. Now according to the researchers this could hardly have been a genetic influence as there was the factor of gender selection- Mother-Daughter and Father-Son, which gave rise to another factor for research 'Behavioural Sympathy' wherein children actually copy the patterns followed by the parent of their gender to become obese.