Obesity – Hereditary or Environmental?

Being obese and being overweight are two different things. You can be overweight by having too much muscle. Obesity is only linked to an excess amount of fat. Although it is possible that being overweight can cause you to be obese (reverse causation!), but being obese will definitely mean that you are overweight. It is measured based off of your Body Mass Index, or BMI for short. There are charts in which you can see what the different rates of obesity are. Obesity is a serious thing. The United States is ranked in the list of top 10 obese nations in the world. That is not something to be proud of. The mortality rates due to obesity is 300,000 individuals per year!! That is the second leading cause of death in the nation just behind tobacco use. 300,000 people die every year due to this (controversially addressed) disease of obesity. Something that some of us have not clarified is whether or not obesity is due to genes or the environment.

The answer to this controversy is that both genetics and your environment are responsible for obesity. This means that if obesity runs in the family, you’re likely to get it as well. Unfortunately, genes are something that we as human beings cannot control. If you are born with something, you more than likely must stick with that. It’s unfortunate in cases where diseases are hereditary through a family, and obesity is no different.

The good news is, you are able to control obesity. This is where the environmental role comes into play. By saying environmental factors, I’m not talking about the weather or the pollution, but by things around you. For instance, the foods that you eat, how much food you consume, physical activity, etc. By maintaining yourself to a healthy routine, obesity can be controlled. I wouldn’t say that it’s easy, because some people have a faster metabolism than others. What this means is that someone with a faster metabolism than someone else could eat the same amount of food as that person, and not gain as much weight due to a quicker digestion rate. That’s a major issue in obesity as well.

There are many ways where you can address this issue. Obesity prevention is something that is being incorporated all around the world. We have PE classes in schools, healthier choices in food courts, and many more. Some ways where you can balance your weight are as followed:

1. Exercising regularly – if you can exercise on a daily basis, then your body will maintain a healthier state. This is important because you can burn off any excess calories that you might have consumed, and stay in nice physical shape.

2. Monitor your weight – if you keep track of how much you weigh daily, then you can potentially stop a gain in weight and work on losing it (or maintaining it if you are at an ideal weight).

3. Be consistent – this means that you must maintain your drive in being healthy. Motivation is hard to keep consistently, but if you can push yourself every day then it is more than possible to accomplish a goal of preventing obesity, or even losing a lot of weight.

There are many different obesity prevention tips that can be followed, and if you want to see more, click here. Obesity is something that we as people cannot take lightly. It is responsible for many people’s lives, and preventing it will only benefit us. Stay away from junk foods, exercise, and be motivated. By taking little steps, it’s quite possible to decrease the obesity rates and move on to a healthier world.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/basics/prevention/con-20014834

http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Uniquely-Me/NZ-Research/Obesity-genetic-or-environmental

http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/

http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/obesity/mortality.htm

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/genes-and-obesity/

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