Ewan on His Mother's Shoulder

Here’s Why Obesity Treatment and Prevention Are Inseparable

New data published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences adds yet more evidence that obesity treatment and prevention go hand in hand.

A team of researchers at Laval University showed that genes associated with obesity are suppressed in children born to a mother after she had obesity surgery. The result: both mother and child have a healthier weight and less chronic disease.

In an interview with Healthline, senior investigator Marie-Claude Vohl said:

Maternal obesity is imprinting a type of mark that is put on the DNA of the children and that can then impact their gene expression, increasing the risk of chronic disease. There is an impact of obesity for the mother, the person that is obese. But there is also an impact on the next generation.

Tremendous energy and resources go into obesity prevention because children evoke more concern than adults with obesity. Access to treatment for adult obesity is poor because health plans are stupidly more willing to pay for treating the diseases that obesity causes than for treating obesity itself.

But extensive research shows that parents with obesity more often than not raise children with obesity. And this study adds to the evidence that treating obesity in parents leads to less obesity in their children.

We can no longer tolerate a false choice between obesity treatment and prevention. We need both to succeed.

Click here to read the study, click here to read more in Healthline, and click here to read more in the Washington Post.

Ewan on His Mother’s Shoulder, photograph © Spamily / flickr

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