Is Obesity Hereditary?

November 7, 2017 Lifestyle Diseases 10462 Views


The 5-year-old Ambika lived in the US, since her birth, with her Indian father and British mother. Life was unfair for her rather huge build maternal granny. Ambika was fond of her naani’s chubby cheeks. He liked the cheerful demeanor that made her so lovable while she continually baked goodies. The only danger was while she expertly cooked the best-stuffed turkey in the neighborhood. She was merrily popping almond rocks and downing sorbets while in the kitchen and this had made Ambika’s granny obese and diabetic.

Not just this, but Ambika’s mom too had to battle her weight, something she wasn’t too pleased to inherit and in turn had passed on to Ambika. Knowing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular ailments, thanks to her almost morbid BMI; Ambika’s mom diligently followed a punishing routine of strenuous exercise, extremely careful about eating healthy meals on time, not smoking or drinking, practicing meditation and yoga while she worked at her high-pressure job, as Assistant to the District Attorney.

However, Ambika had never known unconditional respect and not a single day had passed without cruel barbs and taunts about being jumbo sized. While this was somewhat restrained in school, it was the playground and parks where she suffered the most and couldn’t understand the hateful looks directed towards her and her grandma at the mall, car park, while waiting in queues followed by merciless jibes by even complete strangers.

Ambika wouldn’t bother much about the hostile innuendos, as long as she could be cocooned in her granny’s house baking those goodies and colouring in her books. In fact, she wanted to be just like her ‘nana’ when she grew up, to be able to work from home by churning out divine delicacies that would spread warmth and bind people around the table with love. Running to work and commuting for long hours like her mom – no way! Her granny was her role model.

But alas, her dreams were shortlived as nana collapsed with a sudden severe stroke – not too sudden, considering that her obesity was a huge predisposing factor. The family should have known that obesity and diabetes are a deadly combination but nobody had tried to make the pleasant seventy-three year old change her pecking and nibbling leave alone eliminate it totally. It was a big blow to the little girl and Ambika was more disturbed by the murmurs of insensitive relatives at the funeral, “Why didn’t she do anything about her weight?” “She just wouldn’t control her diet, naturally this was going to happen.”

Is being overweight a crime that needs to be punished? pondered the cherub. It wasn’t nana’s fault that she was fat, thought the little girl in all her naiveness. For Ambika’s mom, this was like a wake-up call. She realized that despite all she did, her overweight body would not relent and she needed to do something drastic. She made up her mind, she would go in for bariatric surgery without wasting any more time.

Ambika could hardly believe her eyes when her mother walked out of the hospital. After having shed those pounds, her mother looked a bit haggard, as though someone had sucked all the vitality out of her along with the cellulite. Ambika’s mom explained to her that she was feeling a wee drained because of the surgery.

What is bariatric surgery, mama?

Ambika’s mom tried to explain as simply as she could. She started her answer by giving some background information to her daughter. “You know, nana used to be very fat. Then I became very fat too. But it’s not good when you are fat beyond a point. Being overweight means you can fall ill easily. It is very important to have the right weight otherwise parts of your body cannot cope. Like the heart begins to feel the strain. So mummy decided to take the help of a bariatric surgeon who would remove the fat and help mummy live a healthy life.”

Ambika was hanging on to every word. So her mom continued. “ First, a part of the stomach is made into a pouch and by dividing it and making it smaller, mummy’s stomach will automatically hold less food.” Ambika smiled, it began to made sense.

Let us know some of the advantages of the Bariatric Surgery

  1. Increases energy expenditure and satiety
  2. Curbs Type 2 diabetes caused by obesity
  3. One can maintain weight loss
  4. Medication can be stopped or modified

But there are also several disadvantages

  • Less food consumption means less nutrition
  • Cause longterm deficiency of vitamins, iron, calcium etc
  • Can create complications compared to other procedures
  • You need to consume daily supplements
  • Dehydration may become severe which makes adequate fluid intake critical

Concerned about your unhealthy weight? Book an appointment with a bariatric surgeon today. 

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