Are You Genetically Doomed to be Fat?

Obesity… is it all in the genes? While this isn’t totally new news, there is further evidence that you may already be predisposed to being fat. Researchers in Europe have identified a gene that they think boosts the risk for obesity.
The PCSK1 gene is the “guilty” gene. Just as people come in all shapes and sizes, the gene also has variants, each possibly playing a role in predisposing its carriers to being overweight.

“By the end of the year we will probably have identified a total of a dozen genes linked to obesity,” says Philippe Froguel of Imperial College London, who led the research team.

Don’t just resign yourself to throwing in the towel if you are having a tough time in your battle of the bulge. While it’s not completely clear from the article, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that it means they believe people with the gene, in any of its variants, are doomed to be fat no matter what. So, continue working hard on bettering your diet and fitness routine… there’s still no excuse.

2 Responses to Are You Genetically Doomed to be Fat?

You’re right, genetics is not necessarily destiny. Think about a relatively homogenous gene pool, such as the Japanese (in Japan, not the ones inter-mixing here for generations). After Japanese immigrants came to the U.S., they tended to become overweight, thanks to the standard American diet and lifestyle. Their relatives remaining in Japan stayed at healthier, lower weights despite similar genes. So weight is determined by both genes and environment.

Brandi says:

Makes you think about the whole nature vs. nurture argument. It definitely applies to our health too. I wonder if you’ll be able to screen for it. That kind of information would be helpful.

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