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Childhood obesity may be inherited from parents

Written By | Feb 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, February 20, 2017 – Childhood obesity is an increasing problem around the world, and a new study suggests genes may contribute to the problem. A new study by the University of Sussex in England has found that parents of obese children may have passed on their obesity genetically, according to Science Direct. The numbers are startlingly dramatic: 35 to 40 percent of a child’s body mass index, or BMI, is inherited from their parents.

Before parents begin to start blaming themselves for their overweight child or children, it is crucial that they understand that the study discovered that genetics only played one part in the overall overweight condition of their children. The environment also plays a key role, and therefore, it also can be part of the solution to dealing with childhood obesity.

Reducing weight in children requires increased nutrition and changes in daily eating and family behavior.

Intergenerational transmission of a child’s body mass index, or BMI was found to be equally genetically distributed between both parents. In addition, if the parents were both obese then the genetic contribution to their children rose from 35 to 40 percent to 55 to 60 percent.  The researchers examined weight data from 100,000 children and their parents from the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Indonesia, Spain and Mexico, reported upi.

Childhood obesity is a worldwide problem. According to Peter Dolton of the University of Sussex, the parental genetic obesity distribution pattern is found to be incredibly consistent, “all countries, irrespective of their stage of economic development, degree of industrialisation, or type of economy.”


The findings can represent a clarion call for parents. The study shows that parents can begin to have a positive impact on their children’s health and over all development by taking charge at the moment of birth. Professor Dolton stressed that, “This shows that the children of obese parents are much more likely to be obese themselves when they grow up – the parental effect is more than double for the most obese children what it is for the thinnest children.”

The study’s conclusions can have dramatic far-reaching consequences for the world-wide health of children.  According to the research, what a parent decides to do with his or her own health choices in eating and exercise can dictate the future health of their unborn child as well.

Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the "New York Times," and has written for the "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," “GOPUSA,” "Soul Source" and "Writers Digest" magazines as well as the Ann Arbor and Cleveland "Examiner," "Free Patriot," "Conservatives4 Palin" and "Positively Republican." The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK - 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014. He writes for Communities Digital News, and his weekly show "Standing at Freedom’s Gate" on Community Digital News Hour tackles the latest national and international issues of freedom, faith and protecting the homeland and heartland of America as well as solutions that are needed. Fobbs also writes for Clash Daily, Renew America and BuzzPo. He covers Second Amendment, Illegal Immigration, Pro-Life, patriotism, terrorism and other domestic and foreign affairs issues. As the former 12-year Community Concerns columnist with The Detroit News, he covered community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, business, government relations, and community and business dispute resolution. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1978 and attended Wayne State University Law School. He spearheaded and managed state and national campaigns as well as several of President George W. Bush's White House initiatives in areas including Education, Social Security, Welfare Reform, and Faith-Based Initiatives.