Q. Glen, Am I Fat because of my Genetic makeup?
A. Here are the scientific facts and latest discoveries about heredity and body fat, straight from the laboratories of the human genome project...
Fat Loss Lie #7: "Your genetics are keeping you fat
How The News Media Distorts, Exaggerates And Lies To You
A recent New York Times story headline said, "Genes Take Charge, And Diets Fall By The Wayside." A similar headline in the New York Post said, "Battle Your Biology? Fat Chance!"
These and other articles like them claim that more and more evidence is proving that if you're overweight, "it's not your fault" and that genes - more than environment and behavior - explain obesity.
I say, "complete, unadulterated GARBAGE!"
Media stories like these often take legitimate statistics about genetic obesity completely out of context and blow them out of proportion to make for sensational news. They also make the common and devastating mistake of encouraging people to cast blame for their health anywhere but on themselves. Many of these types of stories are also based on ulterior motives.
Even worse, believing that "It's not your fault" is one of the biggest lies told in the weight loss industry and one of the most damaging beliefs you could ever have. In fact, the ONLY way you can ever become successful at achieving and maintaining your ideal weight is by accepting responsibility.
What The Research Really Says About Obesity And Your Genes
Make no mistake, there IS a genetic component to obesity. According to the latest research from the Human Genomics Project, you may inherit body fat tendencies just as you inherited your height, eye color or hair color. The tendency may range from slight predisposition to full blown genetic obesity.
In the 1990's, obesity researchers identified the OB (obesity) gene and mapped it to chromosome #7. Studies following a large number of twins and families have also helped to establish a link between obesity and heredity.
However, scientists say that severe mutations in the obesity gene are rare in humans (so mouse studies are largely irrelevant) and doubt has been raised concerning high genetic probability for obesity. ("Full blown" genetic obesity affects only about 5% of obese individuals!)
Therefore, claiming that genetics are more important than behavior and lifestyle is completely false.
Other Genetic Influences... Your Body Type And Metabolic Type
Other theories of genetic individuality discuss inherited body types, metabolic rate and body chemistry . In the 1930's, Harvard psychologist Dr. William H. Sheldon developed a classification system for different body types called "somatotyping":
Ectomorphs are the lean, lanky types. They are usually very thin and bony, with fast metabolisms and extremely low body fat. An ectomorph can seemingly eat like a horse without gaining an ounce.
Mesomorphs are the "genetically gifted." They are lean, muscular and naturally athletic. Mesomorphs lose fat and gain muscle with ease.
Endomorphs are the "fat retainers." Characterized by round features, excess body fat and large joints ("big bones"), endomorphs usually have difficulty in losing body fat and they tend to gain fat quickly if they eat poorly or don't exercise.
In addition to inherited body type ("somatotype"), individuals may also inherit certain metabolic types. Some people metabolize carbohydrates inefficiently and do not regulate blood sugar efficiently. They tend to produce too much insulin when they eat concentrated or fast-absorbing carbs, and or to be insulin resistant. This makes it more difficult to release stored body fat and puts them at risk for a variety of health problems. This condition is known as "Syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome."
The $26 Billion Conspiracy Behind The Lies
Some doctors and researchers, such as those quoted in the newspaper stories, consider these obesity-stimulating conditions to be genetically transmitted "diseases" that require medical treatment. In a few isolated cases, obesity clearly is a genetic disorder. However, these cases are rare, so this idea of obesity as a "disease" should be viewed with a great deal of caution and suspicion, because weight loss is potentially the biggest market in the world for drug sales.
According to Justin Gillis, a staff writer for the Washington Post, more than 45 companies worldwide are trying to develop new obesity drugs, and the stakes couldn't be higher. Gillis writes, "In world where a blockbuster drug is worth $1 billion a year in sales, analysts give $5 billion as the low estimate for sales of an important obesity drug. If a company developed a truly safe, effective weight loss drug, and sold it for $3 a day to one quarter of the 100+ million American adults estimated to be overweight, sales would exceed $26 billion a year in this country alone."
If obesity is classified as a (genetically inherited) "disease", that means more prescriptions will be written
Listen, if anyone ever tells you that "It's not your fault... you were born fat, so don't feel guilty... and don't worry, we have a drug that can help," be cautious and question whose interests are being served; yours or the pharmaceutical giants.
The Truth About Heredity And Body Fat
Losing weight does seem easier for some people than for others. In fact, researchers say that there is a segment of the population that appears to be "genetically resistant to obesity." That doesn't seem fair, but that's the way life is. Let's be honest; not everyone has the genetics to become a top-ranking pro bodybuilder or to become an Olympic Gold medallist.
But you are NOT doomed to live a life of fatness if you don't have "athletic genes." Everyone can improve their body shape and fitness level beyond where it is today.
Body fat is the result of many influences. Genetics is only one of them and as little as 25% the causes are genetic/biological in nature. According To Dr. Claude Bouchard of the Human genomics Laboratory in Baton Rouge, LA, there are several certainties about the TRUE causes of obesity. He suggests the following contributing factors:
(1) physical environment
(2) social environment
This means that 75% of your results are dictated by lifestyle and behavior factors and only 25% by biology. Accodring to Dr. Bouchard, "The obesity epidemic that we are facing today has developed only over the past 50 years and cannot be explained by changes in our genome."
And The Truth About Personal Responsibility That Will Set You FREE!
Like it or not, the condition of your body today is primarily a result of your own lifestyle, behavior and mindset (psychology). But that's great news, because it means most of the factors that affect your body fat levels are entirely under your control. These factors include how much you eat, what you eat, when you eat, who you eat with, how many sedentary activities you engage in, what type of exercise you do, how frequently you exercise, how long you exercise and how hard you exercise
Your first step if you want to achieve and maintain your perfect weight, is to accept 100% responsibility for your weight and your health. When the going gets tough, it’s easy to blame and make excuses. But blaming genetics is a convenient excuse for not taking continuous action. It's also giving away your power and conceding that you a victim rather than a creator of your life.
If you're a frustrated "endomorph" or if you feel like dieting is an uphill battle against your genes, PLEASE do NOT chalk it up to "bad genetics," and do NOT blame your weight on your chromosomes! YOU are responsible and YOU are in control! Dr. Thomas Wadden, a psychologist from Syracuse University, says, "There IS a genetic component to your weight, but NO ONE is destined to be obese."
Above all else, do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence. The empowering approach is to see your physical challenges as assets, because overcoming obstacles forces you to develop discipline, determination and character. These traits will carry over to other areas of your life and make you a stronger person.
As Arnold Schwarzennegger once said, "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you overcome hardships, that is strength."
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !
Any Questions? Ask Glen!