The last National Nutrition Survey, carried out in 2010, determined that in Costa Rica, just over 3 million people suffered from obesity or overweight.
During the National Medical Congress, which takes place this week in the country, health experts assured that this is a disease that is spread, for example, through the family environment. “If the parents of a family are obese, it is very possible that their children will also be obese due to the environment in which they grow up, quite the opposite will happen in homes with healthy lifestyles. The same happens with cultural differences, living in the United States, where junk food abounds, is not the same as living in Japan, where diets are richer in low-fat foods”, explained Dr. Luis Adolfo Calvo, a general practitioner.
Obesity could also be transmitted by heredity, especially by epigenetic alterations. “They are small alterations in the DNA that allow people to be more likely to be obese”, said the expert. In other words, if an obese man fathers a child, he may have epigenetic alterations in his sperm, so the boy or girl is prone to obesity and the complications that this condition triggers.
Both aspects are important, according to Calvo, in order to know where the sustained weight gain that some people have comes from and thus establish comprehensive and effective treatments for the social and genetic reality.