Obesity thus contributes to premature mortality. Of all obesity-related diseases, non-insulin dependent diabetes is most clearly and strongly associated with obesity.
Taking into consideration, the serious nature of obesity and the fact that it is growing at alarmingly fast rates the situation calls for more research to shed more light regarding the causes and the preventive measures that are to be taken. Before any cure can be formulated the main causative reason responsible for this disease needs to be identified. To identify the cause many researchers have already conducted various investigations and have concluded that obesity in children is due many reasons like genetic factors, environmental factors, and psychological factors.
The main objective behind this research proposal is to conduct both practical and statistical investigations to verify whether the nature versus nature theory regarding childhood obesity holds good or not. The aim of this research project is to find out the extent to which the nature versus nature theory is correct and is responsible for majority of obesity cases in children. By application of statistical methods and comparison techniques to the data obtained, the extent of dependence of obesity on genetic factors can be ascertained.
Many researches conducted by investigators have revealed that the role of biological factors in the regulation of body weight is important. For example the minimum energy required to maintain normal body functions-the basic metabolic rate, affects body weight and weight loss because some persons obviously use more energy to sustain indispensable body processes. The size and number of fat cells in an individual also help in establishing the amount of weight loss that is possible.
Obesity is to some extent determined by a person's genetic makeup. According to Foster (2003), "One groundbreaking study published in 1986 followed children who were adopted shortly after birth. The adoptees grew up to achieve adult weights that were more similar to their biological parents than their adoptive parents, indicating the influence of a person's genetic makeup in determining body weight." This strongly shows the influence of genes in the incidence of obesity.
Investigators are uncertain about the genes that affect human obesity. Studies of mice have isolated five genes that, when present in mutated form, play a role in obesity. So far, however, mutations of these genes have not been identified in obese people. Researchers believe the cause of obesity in humans is more complicated than in mice and involves the interactions of multiple genes with environmental factors such as diet and physical activity (Foster 2003).
Numerous studies have already been conducted, which substantiate the role of genetic factors in incidence of obesity. According to Tanios (2000) genetics determine the predisposition to be obese such that the rough heritability estimates range from 0.40 to 0.60. This suggests that genes are responsible for almost half of the total phenotypic variation in obesity. Birch and Fisher (1997) further support this in saying, "We know that obesity runs in