How Genetics Influence Childhood Obesity

By KBJR News 1

How Genetics Influence Childhood Obesity

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM CDT

Childhood obesity is fast becoming one of the most pressing concerns facing kids across the country.

Sometimes it's genetics and sometimes obesity is a family affair.

Studies have shown that a child's risk of obesity greatly increases if one or more parent is overweight or obese.

Barbara Reyelts has more in this week's connect with kids.

Brian's mom says her son has been overweight since the day he was born.

"People tell you that it's baby fat, and he'll lose it. But he just kept going. And he was always a big eater from day one."

"Ate a lot of chicken, you know, fried chicken, and steak."

Brian's doctor enrolled him in a medical program for overweight kids.
But there was a catch.

His parents had to join too.

"And at first it took me a minute, because I was like, everybody's got to do this?"

"I was used to eating fried foods all my life. Everything, collard greens, chicken, pork chops, everything was fried."

The program includes a class to help families learn what foods to buy, and how to prepare healthier meals.

"Do not expect that the child that is overweight is going to eat a salad while everyone else is eating steak. That doesn't make sense."

He says, often it's hard to get parents especially fathers to change their eating habits but that wasn't true for this family.

"When we first started the program, the only person that seemed to be enthusiastic about it was me and so, I would do everything the program said and I lost a lot of weight."

Eventually, Brian's mom got excited too and she lost two dress sizes.

"It seemed like it was going to be difficult at first, but if the food still tastes good...that's fine. And it still does."

Brian says he's lost 20 pounds so far thanks in part to his mom and dad.

"Oh, this is good."