Scientists in the School of Public Health of University of Queensland (UQ) led by associate professor Abdullah Mamun have investigated how grandparents and parental health, lifestyle, and socio-economic status promote a family legacy of obesity, with all its related health problems.
“I am exploring whether pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post-partum factors impact on the development of obesity for both mothers and their offspring,” Assoc Prof Mamun said.
According to the World Health Organization, the global prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980 and most of the world’s populations live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
The results of the study show that obesity of maternal grandmothers has significant influence on the obesity in grandchildren.
Genetic and lifestyle factors have equal propensity across maternal and paternal lines, but the stronger association between grandchildren obesity with maternal grandmother may suggest that a pregnant woman’s diet and gestational diabetes influences not only her child but her grandchild, Mamun said.
World Health Organization estimates the global prevalence of obesity had doubled since 1980, with most of the population living in countries where obesity kills more people than underweight.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare provides statistics showing that more than 12 million people in Australia, or about 50% of the population, are considered overweight and obese.