A Large Number Of Children Around The World Especially

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A large number of children around the world especially in the West have been classified as obese, and it is feared that the situation may escalate in the coming years unless the necessary measures are taken. Establishing the causes of obesity in children is a priority as it can help to develop effective preventive measures. The nature/nurture dichotomy is a central aspect in childhood obesity. Essentially, there are divided opinions on whether the propensity to conserve calories and fat in the body, which leads to obesity, is caused by biological factors (nature) or psychosocial as well as behavioral factors (nurture). This essay will argue that childhood obesity results from the interaction of nature and nurture, with the latter…show more content…
According to Skelton, Irby, Grzywacz, and Miller (2012), mutation in the gene that controls leptin production causes leptin deficiency, which in turn inhibits the ability of the brain to regulate body weight. This abnormality in leptin pathways is linked with around 3-4% of severe cases of childhood obesity (Skelton, Irby, Grzywacz, & Miller, 2012). Mutations in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene are also associated with early-onset of obesity. POMC neurons produce melanocortins and β-endorphin, hormones that are also known to regulate feeding behavior. Therefore, deficiency of these hormones due to mutations in POMC also contributes to early onset of obesity (Skelton, Irby, Grzywacz, & Miller, 2012). Other genes that are known to play a part in regulating feeding behavior in humans are MC3R and MC4R. Just like in the cases described earlier, abnormalities in MC3R and MC4R contributes to obesity in children (Skelton, Irby, Grzywacz, & Miller, 2012). Despite this, mutations in genes only account for a small proportion of cases of childhood obesity. In particular, abnormalities in genes associated with body weight regulation accounts for only 5% of childhood obesity (Flemming, 2011). While the contribution of genetics in childhood obesity is unquestionable, the influence of nurture has also been documented. The most important factor associated with nurture is lifestyle, which
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