Genes Aren’t Destiny When It Comes to Obesity
Genetics plays a role in childhood obesity, but a healthful home environment can overcome at least some of that influence. Parents of 925 pairs of twins—1,850 children total—were surveyed when the twins were less than 2 years old and again when they were 4. Researchers focused on the twins’ body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height used to estimate how close a person is to a healthy weight. By comparing the BMIs of the 314 identical twins (who share all of the same genes) to the 611 fraternal twins (who share about half their genes), researchers estimated how much of their BMI was inherited. Based on survey questions about the home environment, children exposed to lots of fruits and vegetables, more physical activity, and limited television time were less likely to have a high BMI, regardless of their genetics. What does that mean for you? The steps you take to fight obesity make a difference.
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, published online Oct. 1, 2018