The Nature of Obesity

It’s proving to be quite a week for obesity news headlines. First there was the news out of Mississippi of proposed legislation that would make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers. For more on that nugget, we suggest taking a look at the commentary from fellow insurance bloggers over at InsureBlog. Then today, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that a child’s risk of becoming overweight is down to nature, rather than nurture. Researchers analyzed the Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference in a U.K. sample of 5,092 pairs of twins aged 8 to 11 years old. Their findings indicate that the variation in both BMI and waist circumference, was 77 percent attributable to genes, and just 23 percent to environmental factors. The idea that genetic influence is such a strong factor in childhood obesity means that targeting the family may be vital for obesity prevention in the earliest years, the researchers conclude. They go on to note the importance over the longer-term of society-wide efforts to modify the environment, especially for children at high genetic risk. Check out further I.I.I. information on obesity risk.  

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