Genetics and obesity is a touchy subject.
And then there are people like Dr. Carolyn Ross who believe that “70 per cent of obesity is genetic”.
Dr. Ross hopes that if the rest of the scientific community catches up to her way of thinking, a proven linkage between obesity and genetics will ‘take away some of the stigma and shame associated with obesity’.
In at related study, a potential link between anorexia nervosa and human genetics was investigated. In this study, it was noted that over the past 30 years, the rate of anorexia has remained unchanged while the rate of bulimia has risen sharply. The conclusion being made is that while bulimia may indeed be driven by a societal demand for thinness, anorexia may be driven by a genetic flaw.
While research into a genetic cause of anorexia (or bulimia, binge eating, etc) is only in it’s infancy, “results of the first genetic studies, released in the past five years, reveal that genetic vulnerability for anorexia nervosa lies on chromosome 1 of the 24 chromosomes that make up the human genome”.
So what do we take from this?
If Dr. Ross is correct and genetics does have a 70% impact on obesity, do we ignore the smaller 30% role of our own behaviour?
While I agree with Dr. Ross that the social stigma attached to obesity is cruel and thoughtless ( if there is a genetic component to both obesity & cancer, why is it acceptable to mock the obese but not a cancer patient?), obese individuals still have to accept responsibility for their own health.
For every person who was born with a congenital leptin deficiency, there are thousands upon thousands of obese individuals who have a simple genetic predisposition towards obesity. A PREDISPOSITION.
Genetics is not Destiny.
Learn how to keep your body healthy, learn how to train your body to overcome cravings, eat well, exercise, and make the most with the genetic hand that you were dealt.