In Frontiers in Genetics, experts uncovered associations between childhood trauma and genetics, linking both with a higher risk of adult obesity.
The study was conducted by the Desert Research Institute and Renown Health. More than 16,000 participants responded to a survey on traumatic events children experienced.
The participants who experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences had a nearly twice as higher risk to become obese in adulthood, according to the findings. Experiencing four or more adverse childhood experiences was associated with a more than double risk of becoming obese.
“Our analysis showed a steady increase in BMI for each ACE a person experienced, which indicates a very strong and significant association between the number of adverse childhood experiences and adult obesity,” said the study’s lead author in a news release.
“Our new study shows that the combination of genes and environmental factors like ACEs, as well as many social determinants of health, can lead to more serious health outcomes than either variable alone. More broadly, this new work emphasizes how important it is for population genetic studies to consider the impact of social determinants on health outcomes.”