Obesity: Genetics or Environment?

Obesity: Genetics or Environment?
Although our genes do not solely cause obesity, they may be responsible for predisposition to obesity. Per ACE Fitness' 'The Physiology of Obesity' study module, it is revealed that researchers are currently beginning to identify key genes and specific DNA sequences that have everything to do with the cause of appetite regulation. This finding reveals that our genes and DNA predispose us to obesity by affecting our metabolism and appetite.

Other factors that cause obesity are the obvious ones: environmental influences, lack of motivation, depression, over-eating, Binge Eating (eating disorders), sedentary lifestyle, low self-esteem, lack of knowledge regarding nutrition, lack of time to prepare healthy foods, busy schedules with jobs and family, fast-food convenience, and many others. These factors are all labeled as 'environmental influences.'

But how do we conclude to the cause of our own personal obesity? Genetically inclined obesity can be seen in the family as a 'whole'. Are your parents or siblings overweight or obese? How about their parents and siblings? Do you come from a generation of rich eaters with poor nutrition/fitness practices? Does your family lineage have diabetes, heart conditions, strokes, high blood pressure, or any other disease/health condition caused by their weight or obesity? Does premature death run in your family? These are scary questions to ask your self. However, they hold the answers to your own personal susceptibility to genetically predispositioned obesity.

If you were raised in a family that was not physically active, then you are not likely to be physically active as an adult. If your family sat down to nightly high-fat, high-calorie home cooked meals, then that is probably your current style of cooking and eating. If you grew up in a family that consumed mainly pre-packaged, refined, quick-and-easy foods every day for every meal and snack, then that's probably the only way you are familiar with eating and consuming foods. If you were given soda or juice, chips, cookies, or candy as a child or teenager, then those are the nutrition-less foods that you have become predisposed to. It's in our genes. But we can change all of that!

No matter the reason for our obesity, it is reversible. It won't be easy, and it won't be painless. But it will be worth it. Incorporating just a few daily healthy changes will save your life and possibly that of your family's. Children seldom have a voice in healthy food choices. Let's end the predisposition to obesity in our children's lifetime so that they do not have to suffer the same way that we have.

Vow to change just one thing in your routine today in order to improve your health. Prepare a healthier dinner tonight by baking instead of frying. Add some veggies, fruits, and a small salad in place of mashed potatoes, pasta, or bread. Drink ice water with a lemon wedge instead of that Coca Cola. Go for a brisk walk after dinner, even if it's only for 10 minutes. Eat healthy, change your routine, and get moving! Make it a habit to add something healthy to your daily routine every single day. Then share it with your friends, and so on. We can get healthy. And together, we can make a difference.


DNA/gene information copyright ACE Fitness 'ACE Health Coach Manual, 2013-2014 edition. For more information regarding obesity gene and DNA mutations, please reference 'deoxyribonucleic acid sequences' or 'polymorphisms' in your internet search engine.

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