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Link Between Obesity and Heredity

Submitted by Loring A. Windblad on February 22, 2010

Obesity And Genetics Information For Better Obesity Treatment

Genetics was always considered to be an important factor in childhood obesity, but only in recent years, have we found out that it is actually the key factor. Studies now estimate that the effect of the individual’s genes accounts for nearly 90 to 95 percent of a person’s body fat or PBF especially in children. The remainder 5 to 10 percent is related to behavior. Genetics can increase an individual’s risk of obesity as it can affect the transformation into fat of surplus of calories or affect the metabolic rates.

Genetic factors are generally believed to be engaged in the regulation of a child’s body weight.

Therefore discovering individual reactions to all environmental factors like rest, food or exercise is extremely important.  Scientists have now discovered a really close connection that exists between the levels of leptin, which is a protein that controls a person’s appetite and how fast calories are burned, and the person’s body fat. Thus leptin is known to be the important regulator that regulates the human’s energy balance and that helps to stabilize the weight of an individual. Children who suffer from weight problems and obesity have been found to have very low levels of blood leptin.

Studies have shown that obesity in its most severe forms can be treated if this congenital leptin deficiency is treated. But there are alternate opinions that suggest that leptin alone could not necessarily be the cure for overweight and obese people. This is derived from studies that show that adopted children have learned eating behavior and learning behavior and this is even more important and pertinent than genetic inheritance.

Similarly, there is another observation that people tend to put on weight and get obese because they do not get adequate exercise and eat way too much and yet still display normal levels of leptin.

Thus even after accepting the theory that genetic predisposition can give the support required to treat effectively childhood obesity issues and adolescent obesity, future studies are underway  to highlight if critical experiences in one’s life can lead to adiposity, which is a condition seen in children and adolescents. Thus conclusively most evidence and results lead to the suggestion that the genetic influences on humans obesity is the strongest, and is just as possible to have an effect on satiety, hunger and food intake.

Hence childhood obesity problems are less likely to be a metabolic condition and more likely to be a result of a neuro-behavioral condition.

Diet and lifestyle are strong environmental factors that can lead to most people gaining weight and becoming obese.

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