We’ve understood for decades how our parents shape the physical package of who we are – brown or blue eyes, short or tall, the shape of our nose, the colour of our skin. As strange as it may sound, we also inherit subtle behaviours from our parents that can trigger the start of a domino into early cardiac disease as an adult.
The concept of certain behaviours being passed from generation to generation via our genes is a discovery from scientific research in the field of Epigenetics. Studies comparing the sperm of lean men with men classed as obese show differences in certain gene expression that creates surges in hormones known to regulate appetite increase weight and cardiovascular risk.
Behaviours like how hearty our appetite will be, are carried in the genetic message created at conception. Add a layer of learned behaviour at the family dinner table after birth and we have the recipe for the current obesity epidemic spreading across the developed world.
But don’t give up on your challenge to attain a health body weight, and start blaming your parents. Other solid research says that just as unfavourable genes can be turned on, it's also possible that they be turned off, or at least the volume of the expression of these less helpful messages can be turned down. And the solution lies within the four pillars of wellness: nourishment, sensible physical movement, stress management and reducing your exposure to chemicals and toxins.