Did you know that over one-half of all Americans (about 97 million) are overweight or obese (Obesity, 2003).? Obesity is a condition of excess body fat. Obesity can affect any person from young children to older adults. There are many causes of obesity such as over-eating, genetics, hormones, the environment, and lack of physical activity. There are many effects of obesity like health issues, depression, eating disorders, and death. There are also many solutions to obesity such as dieting, medication, exercise, and even surgery.
Obesity tends to run in families, implying genetic factors (Causes, 2003). The search for an obesity gene is complicated because families also tend to share eating habits and lifestyle habits (Causes, 2003). In one study, however, adults who were adopted as children were found to have weights closer to their biological parents than to their adopted parents (Understanding, 2003). In this case, the person's genetic make-up had more influence on the development of obesity than the environment in the adoptive home. Other research has shown than often normal weight children of obese parents have a lower metabolic rate that normal weight children of non-obese parents (Causes, 2003). Again, this suggests that obesity can also be inherited.
Many studies have found a genetic link to obesity, showing the pattern of deposition of fat (the way the fat builds up around the body) and the degree of being overweight can both be inherited (Causes, 2003). Body shape, for example, generally falls into one of three categories-exomorphs, endomorphs, or mesomorphs (Causes, 2003). The slighter frames of ectomorphs reflect a low capacity of fat storage. Endomorphs have the .
most fat-storage capacity (Causes, 2003). Mesomorphs have an ability to store fat that falls .
somewhere in between (Causes, 2003). Fat storage is also more evenly distributed (Causes, 2003).