This factor increases the risk of developing obesity by more than six times. New research

Analyzes conducted by Norwegian scientists shed new light on the causes of obesity development in middle age. A surprising factor increases the risk of the disease. One group of people in particular is at risk.

Obesity belongs to the category of civilization diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of patients struggling with obesity has more than doubled over the last thirty years. In 2022, 2.5 billion adults were overweight, of which over 890 million were obese. That is why scientists do not stop trying to understand the essence of this problem. Recently, Norwegian scientists have taken another step that brings them closer to answering the question: what factors contribute to excess body weight. Their conclusions are surprising.

What influences the development of obesity in the light of new research?

The analyzes carried out so far have proven that there is a strong relationship between parents' obesity and obesity in their children. However, it has not been verified how exactly the process of “transferring” the disease between generations takes place and when exactly the disease manifests itself. Mari Mikkelsen from the Faculty of Social Medicine at the Norwegian University UiT Arctic and her team decided to fill this “gap”. Research has proven that the youngest develop similar eating habits as their obese parents, which in the long run results in an increase in body mass index (Body Mass Index, BMI).

Norwegian scientists took a closer look at medical data collected in the Tromso study carried out in 1994-1995 and 2015-2016. 6,204 people took part – parents and children. Experts compared the health status of both groups at different periods of life. Children whose mothers had obesity were 3.44 times more likely to develop the disease in middle age (between the ages of 40 and 59). In the case of offspring of obese fathers, the probability of developing the disease was 3.77 times greater. In situation, when both parents struggled with obesity, the risk of the child suffering from obesity increased more than sixfold. The results of Norwegian scientists will be presented during the European Congress on Obesity, which will be held in May in Italy.

What are the dangers of obesity?

It is worth paying attention to the fact that the consequences of developing obesity can be very dangerous. The disease disrupts the functioning of the body on many different levels. It promotes the occurrence of lipid and metabolic disorders. It increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke and heart attack. That is why prevention is so important, which includes, among others, appropriate diet and physical activity.

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