The 1999 results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, sponsored by Center for Disease Control and Promotion,indicate that an estimated 61% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. This survey also mentions "obesity has nearly doubled from approximately 15% in 1980 to an estimated 27% in 1999". Clearly the USA has lots of obese people. And the number of obese people is increasing day by day. This increase in obese people makes many people sick and costs lot of money. A 1996 survey by Decision Resources, a market research company in Waltham, Massachusetts, indicates "obesity and its effects cost Americans $100 billion per year. Cardiovascular disease caused by obesity costs $29.4 billion per year." Awareness of the consequences and the causes of obesity may help to reduce the obesity problem significantly. In order to tackle the problem of increasing obesity rates efficiently, we should consider it at the root level, and to do so, we must investigate its causes. The main causes are genetic, psychological and environmental factors, although none in itself can explain the phenomenon.
Admittedly separating genetics from behavior is difficult, but scientists consider genetic factors as the primary reason for obesity. That is why pharmaceutical companies have started using genetic approaches (pharmacogenomics) to develop new drug strategies to treat obesity. Scientific studies have proved the important role of genes on the tendency to gain excess weight. One study shows that the body weight of adopted children has no correlation with the body weight of their adoptive parents (McTernan 5). Their weight has 80% correlation with their biological parents; therefore, if the biological mother is heavy, the chance that her children will be overweight is 80%.(8). This correlation relates to metabolic process inherited only from biological parents. This metabolic inheritance leads to mitochondrial inheritance (13).