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Can Childhood Obesity Reside "In the Genes"?

The children of overweight mothers are 15 TIMES times more likely to be obese than those of leaner mothers, according to new research, leading scientists to believe obesity may be blamed on genetic influences. So much so, scientists suspect children may experience obesity-related problems by age 4.

Researchers followed 70 children over a six-year period, who were almost equally divided between obese and lean mothers. During the first 2 years, the weight and body composition of both groups of kids differed little. However, by age 4, children whose mothers were obese had greater overall weight, then greater weight and more body fat by age 6. In comparison, only one of the 37 children in the low-risk leaner group was overweight.

Because there was a dramatic increase in weight from ages 3-6 in the high-risk group, researchers believed genetic predisposition played a part. Frankly, I'm disappointed scientists seemed to blame the problem largely on genes. Why? Our genes are merely dumb storage facilities that do very little to influence our health. The reality is the EXPRESSION of our genes is the most important influence and their expression is altered by our emotional influences. Otherwise, you'd be helpless to do anything about your health which, of course, isn't true at all.

And there's plenty you can do to prevent or curtail the epidemic of childhood obesity in your home right now:

  • Determine your child's nutritional type with our free online test and prepare your family's meals accordingly.
  • Encourage your child to exercise at least half-hour daily.
  • Turn off the television!

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No. 1, 140-146, January 2005

EurekAlert January 24, 2005

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