Slim Parents? Slim Kids! It's in The Genes, Study Says
Oh Great! Just what women facing an uphill weight battle want to read: if your parents are thin the greater the likelihood they will pass on skinny genes to their kids. So that means that fat parents spread their genes along with their fat to their kids. How depressing. Maybe not! It's a built in excuse for being overweight: the gene factor! Well, not necessarily.
According to UK's Mail Online, researchers from University College in London, UK recorded the height and weight of parents and and up to two children from 2-15 years from 7,000 families over a five year period. They found that children with thinner parents were three times more likely to be thin than children whose parents were overweight. Kids with overweight or obese parents were progressively less likely to be thin. It doesn't follow that every kid born to overweight parents will be overweight, but the likelihood increases that he or she will be overweight as the weights of the parents rise.
The research which was reported in the October issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows the familial link between parental weight and their children's weight. "There is a strong association between children's and parents' body size, with the strongest predictor of a child's thinness being the shape of the parents," the study reported (Jenny Hope, Mail Online) This is a phenomenon that has been repeatedly studied, because there are nagging questions concerning families and weight that are not only gene associative. To what extent do we learn eating patterns from our parents? To what extent is this learned behavior an underlying cause of our being skinny or fat? The old nature or nurture arguments can be reframed for a topic that has become an obsession for clinicians and lay persons.Continued on the next page