Is Obesity In Children Genetic?

About Childhood Obesity

Obesity in children has risen significantly over the past decade and a half. This has mostly been due to the innovations in technology through which an individual can perform an activity with just a click of a button which previously required certain amount of physical activity. Innovations like Xbox and other virtual realty devices have children hooked to computers and television screens making them not only lazy but contribute to weight gain which ultimately makes the child overweight or obese.

A lazy lifestyle combined with a diet rich in unsaturated fats plays a major role in a child becoming obese. It is estimated that about 30% of children in the United States are either overweight or obese and the count is rising by the year.

Being obese not only plays on the health of the child with early development of conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol but it also dents the psyche of the child as the child is not able to play with the peers and gets bullied at school because of weight. This dents the confidence of the child and may even cause anxiety and depression to such an extent that the child may remain secluded in a room and may become reluctant to participate in any social gathering within the community.

Obese children are also prone to certain musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis at a very young age especially of the lower extremities as it bears the brunt of the excess weight that the child has. While lifestyle and diet play a major part in a child becoming obese, some studies suggest a genetic link to the development of obesity in children.

Is Obesity In Children Genetic?

Is Obesity In Children Genetic?

The answer to this question is yes, genetic makeup of a child is a contributing factor towards obesity in children. It is seen that children who have either the parents or direct siblings who are obese are at a higher risk of getting overweight or obese than the normal population.

Studies have shown that obesity is a condition that tends to run in families. Intense research on this subject has identified that around 32 genes are present which are responsible for affecting the body weight of a child even though this may not be the only contributing factor towards a child being obese.

Thus, it can be said that obesity in children is a genetic condition but it plays only a minor role in a child becoming obese even though it may predispose a child towards obesity.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 17, 2021

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