Do you think that obesity runs in your family? A study on the social origins of obesity proves that this could be possible because there is consistent evidence that parents with obesity are more likely to have obese children. The study emphasizes that families tend to share similarities in BMI and obesity cases because of multiple factors, such as genetics, environmental influences, and experiences.
Unfortunately, obesity is a complex disease that can increase your family’s risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. So if you want you and your loved ones to have better health outcomes, you must understand how family can contribute to your risk for obesity.
Your family’s health history can contribute to your risk
You may already have a genetic predisposition for obesity, even while you were in your mother’s womb.
Obesity is highly associated with genetic factors and epigenetic variations, which can be caused by your parents’ heredity and health background. To illustrate, obesity can be caused by hereditary chromosomal arrangements that cause food compulsivity and hyperphagia, especially in childhood. Meanwhile, your parents’ nutrition, stress levels, and toxin exposure can cause changes in your genes and make you more likely to develop obesity. So if you think that genes are to blame for your family’s obesity, it’s highly recommended that you take note of your family’s history when it comes to health, medications, diet, and weight gain.
Your genes can affect your body’s set point weight
Aside from increasing your risk for genetic obesity, your genes can also make it more challenging for you or your loved ones to overcome obesity.
Everyone would like to think that weight loss journeys are a linear process. However, the truth is that it’s difficult for people with obesity to achieve weight loss because the appetite centers of the brain like to maintain a set point weight for the body. Unfortunately, your genes can affect these appetite centers in the brain and cause you to maintain a predisposition for a higher weight. Due to these genes, you may find yourself going back constantly to a certain weight, even if you follow a diet or work out regularly.
Hereditary diseases can increase your risk for obesity
Your genes can also increase your chances of getting hereditary diseases that can cause excess weight gain.
In fact, one of the reasons behind abnormal weight gain in women is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS may gain weight easily because the disorder can cause insulin and sugar to build up in the bloodstream, making it difficult for insulin to convert sugar into energy. As such, it’s not surprising that many women with PCOS are either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, PCOS can run in families, which is why it’s critical to assess if the women in your family could have PCOS and obesity.
The home environment can cause unhealthy outcomes
Your home environment and practices can also greatly contribute to your family members’ risk for obesity.
Parents are the biggest influence behind a child’s weight-related behavior, which is why a parent’s feeding practices and food restrictions are highly associated with a child’s eating habits and weight status. The support of parents as well as their modeling of health behaviors can also affect one’s willingness to follow weight loss interventions. While genes can increase one’s risk for obesity, people are also more likely to adopt behaviors that lead to obesity because of the behavior and attitude of their parents toward nutrition and weight loss interventions.
Your family’s health history and lifestyle practices can contribute to your risk for obesity. However, you can prevent your family members from developing obesity by changing your lifestyle habits and seeking medications that target genetic causes.