The genetic basis of human weight control is complex. New research suggests that as many as 6000 genes may be involved in determining body weight.
“Our results suggest that each newly discovered gene is just one of the many thousands that influence body weight, so a quick fix to the obesity problem is unlikely.”
The idea that we as individuals, families and society can screw up our bodies and then go down to a Doc and get a quick fix is one of the major issues with rising health care costs.
Take care of yourself in the first place and most of you will not need a quick fix for obesity…be it a pill or bariatric surgery.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not object to the research. Rather, I object to the idea that a magic pill or a genetic modification that will help you lose weight is the fix that is needed.
A long term solution is needed and that will mean dismantling a good part of the culture of obesity that we live in.
I’m overweight. I’ve already taken a short walk and I’ll be on my erg in about 2 hours. Have you exercised today?
I think you may be missing the point, which is that evidence is increasingly pointing to a genetically determined physiological/metabolic target weight that an individual is going to wind up at no matter how “disciplined” they are or try to be.
Sure, I agree that we each have our weight related genetic demons to deal with. Men in my family tend to put on weight; women on my mothers side are mixed with some tending toward extra curves and others staying fairly slender.
I do not think that there is a target weight. Rather, a target body type and weight tendency seems to make sense.
There certainly is not a widespread target weight that we would classify as obese. If there were then we’d expect rates of obesity to be constant across populations over time which is not the case. See the data here here:
This pretty cleary indicates that something(s) has changed. I suspect a combination of individual behavior strongly tempered by changing social constructs.
A simple example might be a change in the number of elementary school children who are driven to school. Much higher today than, say, 50 years ago. But why….perhaps suburbs, fear of abductions, coddling, and so on. I’m astounded when I see the long line of drop offs at my local elementary…sure quite a few kids still walk but I see kids driven from homes only 5-6 blocks away from the school…and i’m not talking 5 year olds.
This is the most interesting thing I’ve heard recently about obesity, exercise, etc.:
People’s Pharmacy extended interview with Gary Taubes.