It has been a tradition for a new generation to inherit the wealth of their fathers and forefathers. It has always been a pleasure for most to get a perk they didn’t earn. But sadly, it is equally true for several diseases as well. And in terms of genetics, the maternal lineage matters too.
The increasing statistics of obesity surgery in India are quite alarming and raise a question that needs a serious thought, ‘Does obesity run in a family?’ Having an obese/overweight father/mother makes you prone to gain weight as well? After all, it is not uncommon to find obese parents to have an overweight kid (‘chubby’ as they prefer to call it).
To be honest, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not sufficient in this regard. Let us understand in details, why. There are two major factors responsible for the same. The genotype and the phenotype. The earlier refers to the heredity and genetics. The later refers to the lifestyle, including diet and exercise practiced by the individual, usually over a long time of their lifespan, and not just as a crash course dieting.
According to several studies conducted over a period of time, heredity has some roles in determining the susceptibility of obesity in the future. In several cases, it has been found that a child belonging to an overweight parent (or both) is more likely to be overweight as well.
However, this is often a result of psychology and habits rather than the genetic contribution. Often the fast foods the parents consume, the kids consume the same. This way they gain considerable amount of weight themselves. When parents are overweight themselves, they see childhood obesity as no threat. Their psychology keeps them from taking over the control over their child, both in terms of diet and physical activities.
This would be true for even an adopted child living in the household of overweight adoptive parents and siblings. The alarming numbers of obesity surgery in India, suggests that the habit and lifestyle are usually the prime and decisive factors regarding their body weight and overall health.
Having a lineage of obesity will not make a healthy individual obese overnight. It simply implies that, instead of eating a burger, once in a week, they should limit them to once in a month. In a nutshell, the genes may make one more prone to be a victim of obesity. But remember, a person’s dedication and the will to stay in shape and fit is the most important factor.