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Does Obesity Run in Families?

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Does Obesity Run in Families

Does obesity run in families?

Does Obesity Run in Families

Does Obesity Run in Families? Research reveals that children of overweight parents have an 80 percent chance of also becoming overweight. If you Google the subject of genetics and obesity, you will find countless scientific articles relating to genetic twins. Some of the research with twins looks at a comparison of twins who were separated at a young age. You can also read about the possible differences even between identical twins. But you can overcome the ‘pull’ of your genetics. Continue reading to see how you can reverse this trend.

Is obesity hereditary?

On this page we are going to try and explain the link between your family being overweight and the chances of you becoming obese. Have you ever wondered if obesity, or you just being overweight runs in your family? Did you consider that maybe you being overweight is actually out of your control, and is, in fact, something you have inherited? If there is a history of obesity in your close family, then the answer, of course, is yes, obesity does run in families. In fact there are two distinct links between you and the rest of your family that will have a strong influence on the chances of you becoming overweight. The first one is down to genetics.

is obesity hereditary

Can Obesity Run in Families?

What do genetics have to do with obesity? So firstly, how do the medical text books describe obesity? They say that obesity is the result of a chronic energy imbalance. It is the result of a person who consistently takes in more calories from food and drink than are needed, to power their body’s physical functions. In layman’s terms, they are saying what we all knew, ‘being overweight is caused by consuming more energy than our body is burning’. As a result, we store that excess energy and become overweight.

We Live in an Obesogenic Environment

So why is the problem getting worse? The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), states that the almost non-stop global increase in obesity over recent decades is at least partly due to “obesogenic environments”. What does that mean exactly? Well, an ‘obesogenic’ environment is basically one where there is an unlimited supply of high-calorie, energy-dense foods, whilst at the same time providing limited opportunities for physical activity. It’s the exact opposite environment to what our hunter gatherer ancestors experienced. Research shows that the number of takeaways in a particular area has a direct impact on the level of obesity of the population. A Cambridge study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that those who live, or work, near “clusters” of takeaway outlets, are twice as likely to be obese, compared to those who are not as exposed to such temptations.

does obesity run in families

Is obesity hereditary?

Is it just coincidence that as our widescreen TVs increase in size we are also becoming ‘broader in the beam’? Generally, as a species we spend less and less time moving around, and we are expending very little energy. So, nowadays, instead of doing any physical activity, having a night in on the sofa and binge-watching our way through a whole series, is a very regular weekend “activity”. Most modern gadgets, such as remote controls, voice activated devices, power steering in cars, suitcases on wheels, and travelators in airports are all specifically designed to save us work. Our hunter gatherer ancestors would be horrified!

is obesity hereditary

Consequently, the obesity epidemic can be considered a collective, a combined response to this ever-worsening environment. Also, as we know, obesity is an ever-growing public health problem. It has resulted in the increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Further information from Centre For Disease Control.

How your genetics control energy balance

The brain, not your stomach, regulates food intake, by responding to incoming signals. These signals are transmitted by hormones—such as leptin, insulin, and ghrelin—and other small molecules. Using the signals from the hormones, the brain responds with instructions to the body. This can be either to eat more, move less, or eat less and move more. Genes you were born with are the basis for the signals and responses that guide food intake, and very small changes in these genes can affect their levels of activity. We also have a post: “Do I Have to be Overweight?”

Does Obesity Run in Families

Can obesity run in families?

Food, as in energy, is of course crucial to survival. One of the reasons that losing weight is such hard work, is that your body is working very hard to produce the opposite outcome. That’s because the human body’s survival mechanism is designed to protect us at all levels against weight loss, rather than to control weight gain. Research suggests that the same genes, which helped our ancestors survive occasional famines, are now working against us, and being challenged by our “obesogenic” environment. Because unfortunately, it means that our food is plentiful and available 24/7 all year round.

So, your parents are overweight. Does that mean being overweight is simply ‘in your genes’, and therefore your weight-loss efforts are doomed to fail? The simple answer is no, you can still lose weight successfully. Going forward, there are many things you can do to re-balance things in your favour and overcome the genetic issues. If you are part of a family that is genetically predisposed to gaining weight, you will need to make a bit more effort than maybe some of your friends have to. Being more physically active will be important, along with following a low carbohydrate diet. After all, there is no reason why you can’t achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

is obesity hereditary

There’s some good news for those who want to lose, or maintain their weight. Research indicates ‘genetic influence’, the part that’s out of our control, is relativity small. Fortunately it can be as little as just 20% of the problem. Because it seems that the main factors contributing to family-linked obesity are believed to be ‘family dynamics’ and ‘home environment’, rather than simple genetics. An additional factor to consider is that of food addiction. With this in mind, we have a dedicated page explaining the issues here.

Does obesity run in families?

So, if you’ve inherited genes that put you at an elevated risk for obesity, apparently creating a home environment that models good nutrition and fitness activities can go a long way to overcome the genetic predisposition for obesity. The family environment includes behaviours and habits followed by the family. For weight management, it’s important to focus on your family’s food and eating practices, as well as general activity levels and sedentary habits. Some of our information has come from website. Take a look at Diet By Numbers.

is obesity hereditary

There are so many small changes you can introduce into the dynamics of the family and home. Each of these will help to reduce your likelihood of becoming overweight, and at the same time improve everyone’s general health. On this site we have many pages dedicated to a selection of proven interventions. Sleep, as an example, has been scientifically proven to aid weight loss. We provide detailed information and tips about ‘sleep hygiene’ and how you can improve not only the quality of your sleep, but also the quantity. Take a look at our Start Losing Weight Today Page.

The bottom line

In conclusion, the question of whether obesity runs in families is multifaceted. While genetics play a role, it’s not an absolute determinant. Research shows that children of overweight parents have an 80 percent chance of becoming overweight, highlighting a genetic link. However, the ‘obesogenic’ environment, characterised by easily accessible high-calorie foods and limited opportunities for physical activity, exacerbates the issue. The obesity epidemic is a collective response to this environment, leading to health risks like diabetes and heart disease.

The good news is that genetic influence constitutes only a small portion, around 20%, of the problem. Family dynamics and home environment emerge as crucial factors, suggesting that addressing these aspects can significantly impact weight management. While genes may predispose some to obesity, creating a home environment focused on good nutrition and fitness activities can counteract these genetic tendencies. Taking control of family dynamics and the home environment requires effort, but the lifelong benefits for overall health make it a worthwhile endeavour.

is obesity hereditary

Our Top FAQs: Does obesity run in families?

FAQ 1. Is obesity purely genetic?

Answer: While genetics play a role in obesity, it’s not the sole determinant. Environmental factors, especially an ‘obesogenic’ environment with easy access to high-calorie foods, contribute significantly.

FAQ 2. Can I overcome my genetic predisposition to obesity?

Answer: Yes, you can. Genetic influence accounts for about 20% of the issue. Creating a home environment focused on good nutrition and physical activity can help counteract genetic tendencies.

FAQ 3. Do family dynamics impact obesity?

Answer: Absolutely. Family behaviours and habits, rather than just genetics, are major contributors to obesity. Creating a healthy family environment is crucial for weight management.

FAQ 4. Is it harder for me to lose weight if my parents are overweight?

Answer: While it may require more effort, weight loss is still achievable. Family dynamics and home environment play a more significant role than simple genetics. Focus on creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

FAQ 5. What is an ‘obesogenic’ environment?

Answer: An ‘obesogenic’ environment refers to a setting with an abundance of high-calorie, energy-dense foods and limited opportunities for physical activity. This environment contributes to the global rise in obesity.

FAQ 6. How much of a role do genetics play in obesity?

Answer: Genetics contribute to around 20% of obesity. The majority of the problem is influenced by family dynamics, home environment, and lifestyle choices.

FAQ 7. Can sleep impact weight loss?

Answer: Yes, sleep is crucial for weight loss. Scientifically proven, good sleep hygiene can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep, positively influencing overall health and weight.

FAQ 8. Are there specific interventions to prevent family-linked obesity?

Answer: Yes, numerous small changes in family dynamics and home environment can reduce the likelihood of obesity. Proven interventions, such as focusing on sleep and improving eating practices, can have lasting benefits for the entire family.

Is obesity hereditary?

Are you tired of trying an endless list of diets that just don’t work? Frustrated with the constant cycle of losing and regaining weight? Are you looking for a medically endorsed solution, one based on thousands of hours of clinical experience?  Maybe something that doesn’t involve following a restrictive diet, doing lots of exercise, or having invasive surgery…? So, go ahead, relax, and take a few minutes to daydream… What would it be like to be slim and healthy, to be at your target weight? Can you imagine if you never had to go on a diet again or be afraid of food? What if you were able to enjoy every social event with the fantastic feeling of extra energy and improved self-esteem? Welcome to My Weigh Less Master Class – The Gold Standard in Permanent Weight Loss.

is obesity hereditary

Read on to find out about our award-winning solution! But first, allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Martin and Marion Shirran, and we have worked in the field of weight loss for almost 20 years. We are both clinical therapists and the developers of the globally acclaimed Gastric Mind Band Permanent Weight-Loss Treatment. Articles about our treatment and successful clients have appeared in the global media, including The Times, The Telegraph and the Express. Additionally, magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Hello, Woman, Reader’s Digest and Psychologies have featured our work, as have TV shows around the world.

MWL effortlessly delivers the dieter into the eye of the dieting storm. On a psychological level, it delivers a profound and excitingly new approach to the introduction of change in a person’s life. The treatment allows participants to seamlessly overcome their negative issues around food and eating in general, resulting in them being able to make the connection between weight loss and wellness.

is obesity hereditary

Does obesity run in families?

During the twelve one-hour sessions that make up the programme, dieters learn about aspects of obesity and weight loss that they may have never associated as being connected. The programme has been built around a combination of empirically proven interventions. These include TactileCBT, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as well as Clinical Hypnotherapy. The treatment is designed to connect your mind with your body, delivering a simple, clean connection between Weight Loss and Wellness.

does obesity run in families

Over a thousand people travelled from around the world to experience our weight-loss treatment. Our clients include celebrities, members of the public and medical professionals, including doctors, dentists, nurses, anaesthetists and consultant surgeons. Some clients simply want to shed their excess weight to look better. However, others tell us that health is the main reason. Many of our past clients have successfully reversed medical conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease, whereas others have managed to avoid having knee or hip replacement surgery. You may like to read more details on our Medical Endorsements page.

is obesity hereditary

Our weight-loss approach has been the subject of continued research and development over the last thirteen years. Sharon, above, lost 75 pounds. Our youngest client was just fourteen, and the oldest was eighty-six. Some clients wished to lose just a few pounds to fit into their wedding dress. But others, like Sarah below, went on to lose over 140 pounds. As a result, she was featured globally on TV and in the press. Follow this link to sign up for our course now, and you can start your weight-loss journey today.

does obesity run in families

Our psychology-focused weight-loss programme provides a ‘Psychological Reset’ for those wishing to lose weight. The programme incorporates an updated version of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, TCBT, which is the subject of our bestselling book, published globally by Hay House. Professor Windy Dryden of Goldsmiths University in London endorsed the book, and Professor Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University in the USA wrote the foreword. We also incorporate the latest developments around Neuroplasticity and Neuro-Linguistic Programming along with many other disciplines. One component of our psychology-focused weight-loss programme provides a ‘Psychological Reset’.

is obesity hereditary

Just think for a moment how different your relationship with food and weight loss would be if we re-programmed your subconscious mind to effortlessly replace the word “want” with the word “need”? The result: imagine you are out having dinner with friends ordering a burger. Instead of hearing the waiter asking: “Do you ‘want’ fries with that?” without thinking, you hear and automatically process the question as: “Do you ‘need’ fries with that?” Things would be very different, right? You see, at a cognitive level, we process those words differently. Later, maybe the waiter says, do you ‘want’ another glass of wine? You, of course, hear and cognitively process the word stream as do you ‘need’ another glass of wine. You can watch an animated video explaining ‘Want and Need’ and how it works at the bottom of this page.

Another ‘fix’ in the programme relates to just why people eat. So, during the programme, you will be asked when was the last time you ate in response to actual, physical hunger. Most people say: “Thinking about it, I haven’t been physically hungry for years”. And so we ask them: “Do you ever eat when you are bored, stressed, tired, lonely, depressed, sad, to reward yourself, when watching TV, or maybe just to please someone else?” Then, we do another reset, and so it goes on…

Is obesity hereditary?

We have spent many months completely reformatting our unique, phenomenally successful approach to weight loss. As a result, the course is now instantly available to download to your phone, tablet, or computer. This also means that you can complete the entire course without having to leave the comfort and security of your own home. Welcome to the ‘My Weigh Less Master Class’!

My Weigh Less

Read on the pages of this website how the award-winning ‘My Weigh Less’ downloadable treatment is successfully delivering what is surely ‘utopia’ to dieters: a medically endorsed, proven weight-loss approach that provides permanent results! The programme is also based on over 15,000 1:1 clinical treatment hours. My Weigh Less can help you reach your weight-loss goals.

Permanent Weight Loss
– No Diet or Exercise Required –
– Medically Endorsed –
– 15,000 1:1 Clinical Hours Experience –
– Fully Downloadable –
– Featured in Global Media –
– Award-Winning Programme –

We have over 100 blog posts on the site, covering many different topics. The blog page section is updated regularly; take a look by following this Blog Page Link.

Marion Shirran, as a director of Oxford Therapeutics Limited, is proud to be a registered Stakeholder in NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Marion is also involved in the government’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity.

My weigh Less

We were proud to be awarded the ‘Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy’ in the UK Mental Health Awards 2022.

Mental Health Awards 2022 "Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service"

We also appeared on the This Morning TV show with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Holly and Phil interviewed Martin and Marion Shirran

In 2010, we travelled to New York to appear on the Good Morning America TV Show.

Good Morning America

We are also co-authors of two bestselling books about non-surgical weight loss, published by Hay House.

Martin and Marion Shirran
weight loss course

You can read a full breakdown of all the components included in the treatment package on the Course Details page. There is also an explanation of the treatment on the Does This Work? page. We look forward to working with you. Additionally, you can read reviews from medical and other professionals on the Medical Endorsement page.

Watch the short animated ‘Want and Need Video’ below…

Click on the link below to listen to our short audio introduction to the weight-loss course.

Free Sample Download of My weigh Less

You can download the complete My Weigh Less course and start your weight-loss journey today.

Register Now for the My Weigh Less Course

Downloadable Weight-Loss Treatment

My Weigh Less®/ and all associated intellectual property rights are the property of Oxford Therapeutics Limited, a company registered in London.

Oxford Therapeutics Limited with My Weigh Less

You can read additional information about Martin and Marion Shirran and their weight loss treatment on the Gastric Mind Band website.

Although the weight loss results and success stories shown on the site are typical, individual results will vary, and are not guaranteed. Weight loss success depends on each individual’s level of motivation, commitment, food intake and metabolism. Read our full disclaimer in the Terms & Conditions.

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Does obesity run in families?

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