A Chinese survey conducted earlier this year shows that 295,000 kids in Beijing are overweight, according to www.china.org.cn. This worries experts at the Capital Institute of Pediatrics who ran the survey because of the diseases that obesity causes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
While the Chinese experts attribute childhood obesity to lack of exercise, unhealthy dietary habits and inadequate sleep (evidently, Chinese kids have too much homework after school), a British study shows that “diet and lifestyle play a far smaller role than genetic factors in determining whether a child becomes overweight." Although genetic obesity is not a new concept, this seems a bit hard to believe – a simple example to refute this theory is that there were much fewer fat kids in China thirty years ago, when life standards were lower.
A Slate article tries to explain the cause of childhood obesity from both genetic and environmental angles. According to which, genes play a large role in affecting a child’s weight, but that doesn’t mean what’s genetically caused cannot be behaviorally controlled. In fact, “environmental changes can significantly raise or lower average weight, even if it’s largely determined by genes.” Therefore, it’s parents’ responsibility to cultivate an overweight kid’s healthy lifestyle.
Links of sources: