Obese parents ‘teach’ their children obesity
I’m not kidding, this is what scientists have revealed in their recent research concerning obesity.
It is reported that obese mothers are ten times more likely to have obese daughters than slim ones. And overweight fathers are also six times more likely to have fat sons.
That sounds pretty bad but according to the findings kids are picking up bad eating and exercise habits from their parents, and thus more and more children have excess weight now and will in the future if we don’t change the situation.
Kids start to get too much weight by the age of five, as the Department of Health revealed. At secondary school, one in five is obese already – at this point their weight becomes a health problem.
Obese children are at higher risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease when they grow up.
Scientists at the Peninsular Medical School in Plymouth studied 226 families and finally came to a conclusion that overweight parents and their offspring have common behavioural habits and that younger generation learns unhealthy behaviour from role models at home.
The connection is hardly genetic as inherited traits such as obesity are seldom passed down on gender lines.
According to the International Journal of Obesity ‘It is the reverse of what we have thought and this has fundamental implications for policy. We should be targeting the parents and that is not something we have really done to date.’
The study showed that only 3 per cent of boys whose fathers had ‘normal weight’ were obese, compared to 18 per cent with fat fathers. And about 4 per cent of girls with slim mothers were overweight, compared to 41 per cent with obese mothers.
It is horrifying to think how much the obesity epidemic might extend if all youngsters with fat parents took bad eating habits.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said:
This is telling the Government that they now have to look for a new direction.
We have to make sure parents are in a good condition to bring up their children in a normal manner.’
The Department of Health is worried much and special Change4Life campaign is being in progress to reduce the number of overweight people.
The obesity epidemic is one of the most challenging public health issues we face,’ a spokesman said.
However, Professor Stephen O’Rahilly, of the University of Cambridge, said:
This is an interesting study and the question is worth investigating but its conclusions are based on very small numbers and should be viewed as very preliminary.
If scientists want to challenge the existing body of knowledge on something as important as genetics and obesity it is critical that they use the biggest datasets available.
I am sure other groups will soon test this hypothesis in much large numbers of families. Until that time we should treat these findings as potentially interesting but not paradigm changing.’
The results of the research are interesting but at the same time frightening because we can really have too many obese and thus unhealthy people on the planet.
- obese girl
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