Science Sound Bite: Is The Heritability of Obesity Equivalent to That of Height?


“The heritability of obesity is equivalent to that of height and greater than that of almost every other condition that has been studied—greater than for schizophrenia, greater than for breast cancer, greater than for heart disease and so on.” – Dr. Jeffrey M Friedman, The head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York

Jonathan Bailor!/jonathanbailor
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1 reply
  1. Verb
    Verb says:

    But one must ask why. Unless they found and tracked sets of twins, one of which was given up for adoption and the other of which remained with the parents, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish GENETIC heritability from LEARNED BEHAVIOR heritability. I find it highly likely that children of obese parents learn an eating style/type that, as with the parents, leads to obesity. Unless they have controlled for learned behavior, to suggest a genetic heritability seems premature.

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