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Don’t blame chips and chocolates for your kids extra weight, as a study says around 35-40 per cent weight is inherited by a child from his parents.

For the most obese children, the proportion rises to 55-60 per cent, suggesting that more than half of their tendency towards obesity is determined by genetics and family environment.

The study, led by the University of Sussex, used data on the heights and weights of 100,000 children and their parents spanning six countries worldwide: the UK, the US, China, Indonesia, Spain and Mexico.

The researchers found that the intergenerational transmission of BMI (Body Mass Index) is approximately constant at around 0.2 per cent i.e. each child’s BMI is, on average, 20 per cent due to the mother and 20 per cent due to the father.

The pattern of results, says lead author Professor Peter Dolton of the University of Sussex, is remarkably consistent across all countries, irrespective of their stage of economic development, degree of industrialization, or type of economy.

Professor Dolton says, “Our evidence comes from trawling data from across the world with very diverse patterns of nutrition and obesity – from one of the most obese populations – the US- to two of the least obese countries in the world – China and Indonesia.”

Adding, “This gives an important and rare insight into how obesity is transmitted across generations in both developed and developing countries. We found that the process of intergenerational transmission is the same across all the different countries.”

The findings are published in the journal Economics and Human Biology.

The study also shows how the effect of parents’ BMI on their children’s BMI depends on what the BMI of the child is.

Consistently, across all populations studied, they found the ‘parental effect’ to be lowest for the thinnest children and highest for the most obese children.

For the thinnest child, their BMI is 10 per cent due to their mother and 10 per cent due to their father. For the fattest child, this transmission is closer to 30 per cent due to each parent. —ANI


Source: The Tribune


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