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Do your genes affect your weight?

Oct 23, 2009

As people have become more aware of genetics, a number of myths have been born. The most common is that the genes you inherit from your parents fix your body type and, no matter what you do, you cannot change it. This makes genetics a very convenient excuse when people are looking to explain why their latest diet is a failure. The reality is rather different. Genetics is science looking at the process that enables each new generation to inherit characteristics from the parental generation. People are deceived into believing that this science is very precise when researchers announce they have identified a particular gene responsible for an inherited disease. Science fiction stories have popularized the idea that parents will soon be able to order designer babies. Now the authors who are looking to sell their latest diet books have begun to push the idea that one size does not fit all genetic types. Rather, every individual has to assess their “genetic type” and then choose the most effective diet. The myth is being spread that basic human chemistry does not work in the same way across all human beings. “Experts” claim that people absorb carbohydrates, fat and protein in different ways. This difference can be measured by blood type, fingerprints and inside leg measurement, among other factors. Diets and exercise programs can be designed for individuals based on these factors. It seems science can help people lose weight.

Except, as in all cases, the myths are completely false. This is the old nature/nurture debate redesigned to fit into a newly recognized science. At present, there’s absolutely no evidence to show that the presence or absence of particular genes has any effect on obesity levels. No matter what the advertizers try to tell you, there’s no DNA/gene test to tell you anything useful about how to diet. The only evidence currently available that is relevant and of potential interest is that some genes do affect behavior including how quickly people feel full after eating. Obviously, if some people are slower to recognize their stomachs are full, they are more likely to overeat.

So how should people aim to lose weight? There’s one truth amongst all the myths. One-size does not fit all. The foods I like to eat may be the food you dislike the most. To keep up motivation for the diet, you do not just eat the same 1300 calories as everyone else. You should tailor the diet to your own likes and dislikes. If you put together a net-loss calorie menu including varieties of foods you like, you are far more likely to keep to the diet without getting bored. Now add in phentermine to keep your appetite in check, and you have made a good start to losing weight. Phentermine will overcome any genetic barrier to recognizing a full stomach. It’s the tried-and-tested drug that safely and effectively gives you control over the quantity you eat. With some exercise to burn additional calories, you will slowly see the pounds fall away.

 

 

 

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