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Child obesity influenced by parents’ lifestyle

According to a recent study, the likelihood of a child becoming overweight or obese is influenced by the lifestyle of parents, rather than being genetic.

The research, which was conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science’s (LSE’s) Centre for Economic Performance, looked at the weight of adopted and biological children. It also considered the health of parents to determine whether a child’s weight is influenced by their home environment or inherited from guardians.

It was found that an adopted child is 21% more likely to be overweight if both adopted parents also had weight issues. As there is no biological match in such cases, it is likely that the home environment is the reason behind the weight gain.

Genetics were discovered to affect a child’s weight only slightly, as 27% of kids who had overweight biological parents were also heavyset.

According to the associate professor of political economy at the LSE, Dr Joan Costa Font, the research indicated that it is possible to do something about children becoming obese or overweight.

The professor believes that rather than focusing on children and schools to deal with the problem, it may be preferable to tackle the lifestyle of the parents. However, the research did reveal that genetics played a greater role in those who were obese rather than overweight. Meanwhile, mothers who work full time did not have an adverse effect on children’s size, according to the study.

Schools can support parents by providing nutritious snacks from school tuckshops. Merseyside faculties, for instance, are offering healthy alternatives to sugary, fatty food.

Posted by Jennifer
February 20, 2015
Research

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