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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Obesity discovered to be hereditary!

The founder of a programme in the US to improve parent fitness found that 20% of the initial replies were from parents and attorneys wanting to sue doctors for the obesity and overweight suffered by children.

In letters sent to the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, Dr Applebaum, a Chicago-based physician and attorney, fitness expert, and author, informed them of his experience. ‘Of the initial respondents, a full one-fifth were more interested in my law degree than my medical degree and fitness credentials. They felt betrayed by their own physicians who did not warn them of the effects their overweight could (and in some cases allegedly did) have on their children. In short, they wanted to sue. Apparently the message of parental obesity and overweight and their effects on children is not getting through. These people seem to think that it was never given. So did the attorneys who also made contact.’

Studies prove that the number one predictor of childhood weight problems is parental unfitness. If one parent is unfit, a child has a 40% chance of developing weight problems, and if both parents are unfit, a child has an 80%–90% chance of developing weight problems. According to the US Center for Disease Control, a majority of adults of reproductive age are unfit, ie overweight or obese. This places the number of potential plaintiffs in the tens of millions. The implications for malpractice insurance reserves have yet to be assessed!