Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Do genes affect obesity and weight loss?

Don’t we accuse our genes and hold our genetic tendencies as an excuse for our obesity?

Many of us have often said, “It runs in the family; all my aunts and uncles have been over weight.” We all know the truth that our obesity is the cause of negligent food habits and unhealthy lifestyle. However, scientists have discovered that genes do play a significant role in making a person obese.

Scientifically speaking, genes affect the way our body processes energy from the food we consume. For example the obesity gene may be the same gene which thousands of years back might have helped people survive famines and similar food scarcity situations. The human body evolved to sustain on low energy food by storing energy in form of fat. Moreover, it would have been a period when humans engaged in numerous physical activity given the lack of technology and discoveries. In the present day, when there’s abundant food and no need for any physical activity, the same gene may be contributing to obesity by storing excess fat in the body.

However, genes alone cannot be held responsible for obesity, which is now even considered an epidemic in some parts of the world. There are many factors which bring about or contribute to obesity. Factors such as sleep deprivation, sedentary lifestyle, poor regulation of diet and improper distribution of nutrients and essential minerals in the diet directly affect the obesity condition.

Overall, these factors are a part of our environment and how we adapt to it determines whether a person may develop obesity or not. Such factors may percolate down from a single individual to not only his/her entire family but even the whole community. Over the generation, these bad habits become a strong part of the community culture and get stronger with years, only to result in mass obesity occurrences and other related health problems and diseases.

Thus, instead of giving our genes as an excuse for obesity, we must start thinking about how to get rid of this disease and reclaim our health and happiness. In other words, it is in fact our duty not only to ourselves but to our community at large to imbibe the good habits and develop healthier practices for the future generations to come.

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