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Is obesity hereditary?

‡‡flDo genetics play a role in obesity?

Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than the body consumes. It is that easy. But could other factors also play a role like genetics?

I often notice that when the husband is overweight, so is the wife. And sometimes I see whole families who are overweight. Is that coincidental or is there science behind that observation? Could it be that obesity is hereditary? Well, according to studies between 30% and 70% of obesity can be contributed to hereditary factors but there is no clear pattern noticeable like in some diseases.

And often I see an overweight mother with an overweight daughter or an overweight father with an overweight son. Is that coincidental? The Plymouth Peninsula Medical School conducted a study of 226 families and found that obese mothers were 10 times more likely to have obese daughters and for fathers and sons, there was a six-fold rise. The researchers believed that, in general, daughters copy the ‘lifestyle’ of mothers and sons the ‘lifestyle’ of fathers. Seems possible to me. Also, the researchers did not believe that genetics caused the findings because otherwise there would not be such a clear mother-daughter, father-son relationship.

So it seems that the eating behavior of families highly contributes to the weight of the family members. Something to seriously think about. This research means that parents cannot just blame genetics if their children put on too much weight. That might only be true for 30-70%. The other 30-70% is most likely caused by the eating behavior of the parents which is copied by the children.

We have some families following the Cambridge Diet and although they have all lost weight, some families are more successful than others. Most success with the children is booked when the parents are consistently using the diet. Because when they don’t, we noticed that the children cannot do it either.

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