Environmental vs. Genetics Essay

In Jeffrey Heit’s article that I read titled, Child Obesity Genetics Issue, Heit talks about how genetics is the main reason that affects childhood obesity. The article talks about how a child’s genes come from both parents and that they cannot help what kind of genes that they get. The article talks about how if both parents are obese than more than likely their child will be obese. Obesity is considered to be a hereditary problem because in most cases children become obese because of their genetic makeup. “Genetic issues that can cause child obesity are defects in the chromosome or single gene.

Such obesity is called monogenic obesity. Defects in the single genes like leptin, leptin receptor, and melanocortin four receptor which play a major role in the appetite regulation can lead to obesity at a very young age. ” These defects can be passed onto the next generations. “Also the change in the genetic make up of the gut flora that plays a major role in the digestion process can cause child obesity” (Heit). “Because of the presence of the susceptible genes in the genetic make up of the child, these genes cover large areas of the chromatin and are passed on to the kids from their parents”(Heit).

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Heit goes on to say that even though there are no cures for genetic factors that causes obesity, the best solution is to try to prevent obesity by dieting, exercising, and having regular check ups. Heit closes his article by going on to say that obesity is something that cannot be helped by children because of genetic factors that they have received from their parents. Genetics might have a little to do with childhood obesity but most of the causes of obesity is environmental. Parents should be held responsible if their child is obese. Parents are the ones that are allowing their child to eat whatever they want and not be physically active.

Video games, TV, and getting on the computer are today’s preferred pastimes. In fact, children spend more time in front of a TV screen than they do in school or playground. The trend of eating fast food is increasing day by day. People are eating out at fast food restaurants more often, so they have less control over how much fat, sugar, and salt they are eating. Fast food restaurants also encourage super-sizing of meals, adding unnecessary calories. Things like computers, escalators, cell phones, and several kinds of washers reduce the need for physical activity.

Unhealthy foods and drinks are aggressively advertised and sold to adults and children. Fast food and junk food advertisers purposely target children whom they know have increasing purchasing power. Advertisers know that a child can heavily influence their parent into buying them anything or almost anything that they want. All of these factors play a major role in an obese child’s lifestyle. Heit does have a point when he talks about trying to prevent obesity. Both of the environmental and genetics sides believe that preventing obesity. Nutritious foods should be chosen over fast food.

If a parent could try to get a child to be more physically active instead of sitting around playing video games, talking on the phone, and getting on the computer then that can help with a child from becoming obese. A child should be able to have healthier lunches in the cafeteria at school and healthier lunches and dinners at home three to four times out of the week. Instead of having regular beef burgers, children could have turkey burgers which are healthier than beef burgers. Instead of having can drinks or sweet juices, a child should have either water or 100 percent juice.

Another thing that the environmental and genetics sides agree with is that the problem starts with the parent even though it might not be in the same sense. Both sides agree that if the parents are obese then their child is more likely to be obese. Though the debate whether environmental or genetics is the main cause of children being obese, both sides think that dieting and exercising can prevent a child overcome being obese. With that knowledge in mind, there should be better programs to assist with helping obese children or helping children from becoming obese.

Parents should get more involved with their children. Something needs to be done about obesity or else children will be at risk of dying. After all, the children are our future. Works Cited “Fat Kids: Are Parents To Blame? ” Momlogic. 23 October 2008. 18 July 2010. http://www. momlogic. com/2008/10/are_parents_of_obese_children. php Heit, Jeffrey. “Child Obesity Genetics Issue. ” Fast and Quick Weight Loss. 2009. 18 July 2010. http://www. fastandquickweightloss. com/child-obesity/child-obesity-genetics. htm


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