June 27, 2005

Obesity, genes and lifestyle. Scientists say genes are often the culprit, not necessarily for the growing incidence of obesity, but for who is more likely to become obese.

I found it very interesting that for all the assumed connections between lifestyle and obesity (and there are, of course, some), that adopted children are more likely to be near their birth parents' weight than the parents who raised them.

  • Here's a recent mefi fpp/discussion in the same vein.
  • Um...stole the link from a comment there. Which I figured I had the right to, since it was my own comment :). I thought it might start an interesting discussionon its own merit, since I didn't know some of the things in there (and I tend to be aware of weight issues).
  • cheers. I thought the washington post article/picture set were eye opening and added a personal touch to the info/statistics. and so broke my silence here to link to the post about it.
  • Yes, it was a good story - I found this because I wanted to learn more about extreme obesity. There are also some more interesting stories about gastric bypass surgery on this page - both success and failure, as well as some scary details.
  • Fat people of a certain weight are diagnosed as "obese", which is, as I understand it, a medical term relating to a syndrome of illnesses sometimes associated with being very fat, even if they have never had symptoms of those illnesses, have no family history of it and are healthy. That strikes me as a bit odd. It's as if one should diagnose a gay man with AIDS even if he tested negative, has never been promiscuous and practices safer sex.
  • mygastricbypass.com was posted recently (was it here or on MeFi?) Very inspiring. I could empathize with what she was going through, especially in her journal- the little things like "firsts" and making milestones, etc. Although I didn't start out that obese, I've been doing the weight loss thing myself, losing about a quarter of my original weight since the start of this year.
  • I agree, oklo. And the US government stats on death from obesity attribute every death from every statistically obese person as a death from obesity -- even if they died at age 105 or were hit by a bus or shot to death. Each of these deaths is reported as a death from obesity. I find that silly.
  • Thanks for that link! I missed it on MetaFilter because I can't stomach the weight threads on the blue. It's an extremely interesting and well written article. More back-up for my claim that it's not all about willpower and motivation.
  • Even as the CDC has been forced to recant the "deaths due to obesity" number from 300,000 to 240,000 to 20,000, they still insist on beating the "fat is unequivocally bad, and you will DIE, DIE, DIE" drum. Articles like this are at least starting to flesh out (pun intended) the true picture of weight and health. What some studies are starting to get at is the fact that inactivity is the true causation of the diseases currently blamed on fat, and not necessarily fat itself. I believe that people can be fat and healthy. And I am sick and tired of being told that fat is a moral failing, and that fat people are not entitled to happiness, success or respect until they diet down to a certain weight. Thanks for this post jb, it's hard to find these types of articles buried in the refuse of diet industry sponsored fear-mongering.
  • Genetics are a factor in who is likely to become obese??? You don't say? Woweee. I would never have guessed. Where would we be without scientists to tell us these things. Meanwhile, still no cure for cancer.