Posted: February 16th, 2023

Analyze the evidence regarding the contribution of genetics and/or environment for obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism, and schizophrenia. In the case of obesity, what impact does it have in our society today?

Obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism and schizophrenia are all medical conditions that have been studied extensively in regards to their association with environmental and genetic factors. Each condition is complex and may involve a mixture of both environmental and genetic contributors. In the case of obesity, it has become an increasingly prevalent issue within our society today, making it even more important to examine the potential causes as well as possible solutions.

Obesity can be defined as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30. It has been hypothesized that genetics may contribute to an individual’s risk for developing obesity through heritability estimates suggesting up to 80% of BMI variation being attributed to inherited traits (Maes et al., 1997). The most commonly studied genes associated with increased risk for obesity include those involved in energy balance regulation such as leptin, insulin growth factor-1(IGF) receptor and proopiomelanocortin (POMC), however they only account for approximately 4 percent of individuals diagnosed with this disorder (Gross et al., 2003). While further research on single gene mutations linked to obesity continues, much of the evidence suggests that environment plays a larger role than genetics when it comes to causing this condition.

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In terms of environmental influence on obesity, lifestyle factors such as physical activity levels or dietary intake could be considered contributing factors if not accounted for in appropriate management strategies (Kolodziejczyk & Piwonska, 2017). There is also evidence suggesting access disparities between socioeconomically advantaged or disadvantaged populations which could create inequities in treatment options available or decrease overall health outcomes due to limited resources available for preventative measures (Fontaine et al., 2014).

Analyze the evidence regarding the contribution of genetics and/or environment for obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholism, and schizophrenia. In the case of obesity, what impact does it have in our society today?

Environmental influences alone cannot explain all cases however; interactions between genetic predisposition or vulnerability combined with certain environments may increase one’s susceptibility towards unhealthy weight gain . This raises questions about how best we should manage genetically vulnerable populations who face difficulty controlling their weight despite diet modifications and exercise programs.

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For other diseases such Alzheimer’s disease alcohol use disorder ,and schizophrenia , there appears less consensus regarding the contribution from environment verses genetics versus the role played by each contributor when these disorders occur together . For example , recent studies suggest “gene-environment interaction” whereby certain genes interact differently depending on an individual’s life experiences —such smoking habits —to influence development Alzheimer’s Disease (Lambert et al., 2018 ). Similarly , biological research examining familial patterns suggest hereditary influences play a significant role increasing susceptibilities towards alcohol abuse while psychological studies indicate social learning theories can cause substance misuse or abuse under certain circumstances secondary stressors like peer pressure(Hendershot & RachBeisel 2012 ) . Lastly in schizophrenia , twin studies conducted over several decades argue addiction involves inheritability yet cognitive behavior therapies suggest changes via altering thought processes concerning negative cognitions related mental illness might improve symptoms exacerbations along with pharmacological treatments(Luciano et al 2013 ).

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Overall it is clear that each medical condition examined involves strong interplay between both genetic components along what outside influences from environment exist . As far as obesity , research indicates its prevalence likely result from combination multiple external stressors paired person’s unique biology—for instance varying genomic sequences involved energy homeostasis -suggesting modernized societal norms including food availability large portion sizes at reasonable prices predispose people into unhealthy diets leading overweight status eventually morbidity issues without proper prevention interventions place early detection systems place help reduce many chronic illnesses afflicting wide population groups today .

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