Genes Make You Fat

Data from adopted twin studies indicate that in the United States, about 80% of the variation in body weight is determined by genes. Again, that’s about the same degree of heritability as a characteristic such as height, and much greater than that for other conditions that we now clearly regard as running in families, including breast cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease. Brain-imaging studies of obese patients indicate that a genetically determined alteration in the brain’s pleasure circuitry makes them crave food more while getting less pleasure from eating than those in a lean control group.

Full article on the role of genetics in obesity.

Comments (4)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    I’ve also heard that the brains of some obese (or overweight) people do not receive the signal from their stomach that it’s sated. New research involves implanting electrodes into the outer lining of the stomachs of obese people to signal their brains it’s time to stop eating.

  2. Neil H. says:

    I think what is really going on is that most people are not disciplined about their eating. If you don’t exercise any discipline, and you eat whatever you feel like eating, then of course the outcome is going to be gene determined.

  3. Kennedy says:

    Very interesting. Has any research been done on the possible use of leptin supplements as a weight-loss aid?

  4. Buster says:

    I can just imagine a wife asking her husband… “Honey, do these genes make me look fat?”