Study Shows Family Weight Connection
About 40 percent of a child's body mass index (BMI) is inherited from his or her parents, according to new research. The analysis involved about 100,000 from six different countries, including the United States. Researchers found that the mother's BMI and father's BMI are each responsible for 20 percent of their children's BMI.
The study also showed that children of overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves and that the more overweight the parents are, the more overweight their offspring are likely to be. A number of factors play a role in determining weight—including diet, activity level, and genetics. Research shows that children can inherit genes that increase obesity risk.
Interestingly, researchers found that the transmission of BMI from parents to offspring is higher in those who are overweight or obese. They determined that children with low BMI inherited only 10 percent of that tendency from each parent. Results were consistent across all countries studied—regardless of the economy or other factors.
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