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Past Generation’s eating habits currently affect youth


Many things are passed down through generations: hair color, eye shape, and even things deeper, like the tendency to have a disease or mental illness. Yet another thing has been added to the generational risk list: body weight. 

Apparently, watching what they eat isn’t the only problem with students who struggle to lose weight. Their family, around three generations back, also affects it. 

Back in the 90’s, extreme dieting, less nutrients and the desire to be thinner than a spaghetti noodle had led to changes in the DNA of their future children and grandchildren – which leads to higher fat retention. Not to mention the effects of current fad diets, including fasting. 

“Too little exercise and eating too many calories are root causes of obesity,” Science News for said. “However, in the past few years, scientists have begun to explore the role of our DNA. Some genes may play a role in making people fat.”

Scientists who worked at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute conducted a study on a group of mice to try to understand these effects. Male mice who had fathers that were obese often became obese themselves.

“What’s more, it wasn’t just the sons of the obese dads that showed this metabolic problem,” SNFS said. “The grandsons, too, developed the same problems after they ate junk food for a while. And this held even for mice whose fathers had eaten well and maintained a healthy weight.”

Studies have also been done over roundworms to measure a similar trend that has recently become popular: intermittent fasting. In this study, the researchers took worms and split them into groups: one group given food, another group not.

“Interestingly, this first generation’s temporary fasting increased their lifespan,” said, “but their great-grandchildren had greater mortality and reduced “fitness” —…”

Now, studies conducted on animals and, in that previous study’s case, worms, are not always completely accurate to human biology. They do, however, offer a glimpse into why some people can’t manage to lose weight while others drop it easily. 

When parents and grandparents put themselves under extreme diets, their future children will suffer as well.

But… Why should this matter?

Well, in today’s day and age, it doesn’t exactly have to be stated that people value being the ‘ideal body type’. People stress and panic themselves trying to fit the perfect body type, but sometimes, it’s quite impossible to achieve – some people are simply more genetically prone to be ‘bigger’.

It’s not a bad thing to try to better yourself through fitness and watching what you eat, but better yourself for yourself, not what people think you should do.

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