Does genetics have a part in Obesity?

United States
March 26, 2009 3:41pm CST
I'm not saying to completely blame genetics for everyone being obese because ofcourse there are some of those who just sit in front of the couch and do nothing .. I'm talking do you think that there is validity in the fact that some people can't help their weight due to the factor of genectics and that it definitely plays a part in it?
6 people like this
17 responses
@blion23 (404)
• United States
26 Mar 09
I think that it may pay a bit of role however it cannot be claimed as the primary reason for someone being obese. Obesity is caused by an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle and while it may be more difficult for someone with genetic obesity to lose that weight, it is still possible. Genetics play a slight part but it is not the entire reason that someone is obese.
• United States
26 Mar 09
sorry meant to say mother of five my headache has been effecting me all day and I just sometimes end up with a couple typos.
1 person likes this
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
26 Mar 09
Whew Bella! That's some heavy info there. Very real stuff that. Those, however are extreme or rarer cases of genetics causing weight gain. I have heard that certain people do have a genetic disposition to be overweight. Not from extreme medical conditions like what you listed, but just a simple genetic code that tells makes their body hang onto more weight. I did note in my response to the original discussion that this is a factor in obesity, however, it is not an excuse and people with the pre-disposition of genetic makeup can still be a healthy, albeit heavy, weight.
2 people like this
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
26 Mar 09
Um...bella, you can slap me. I just realized YOU were the original post. LOL.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 09
Bella- My husband just read an article last week on HFCS. It was on Reuters health. The article stated that the consumption of HFCS alters the gene that controls our insulin, thus creating a diabetic state in our body. It went on to say that researchers are trying to create a pill to target the gene affected by HFCS so that people can just take that, rather then get rid of HFCS, but it brings up an interesting point. Our genes could potentially be changed by the processed foods we eat, and if this is possible perhaps becoming fat or obese isn't so much just over eating but that our genes are being changed by the processed foods we eat and our body is not processing as it should. It's definately something to think about. Namaste-Anora
2 people like this
• United States
28 Mar 09
I hate to say this but not every disorder is caused by what you eat and how it's made. I know that I was just born with this I have had it all my life and didn't realize it. So I hate to say that in my case there was no way what I ate could have done this..But I do see your point that maybe this adds to the list of health problems but not all..
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 09
Bella- The study found that this is affecting people at a genetic level to impede insulin absorption, which can lead to all sorts of genetic problems. So, it is very possible that if three generations before were having diets full of processed foods and HFCS that generations today have a faulty gene to begin with leading to obesity. Which this study linked to increased obesity rates. I understand that might not be the case for every body, but I think it's worth looking at that perhaps chemicals altered our parents genes and thus we were born with altered genes. The study showed that HCFS affects us as the genetic level. So, if we had children then it's possible we're continuing the altered genetics. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a skinny minnie. I've had all the tests done and nothing ever shows up. So, I'm taking matters into my own hands and doing my best to remove HFCS from my diet, and trust me it's difficult. Everythng has it in it. I know in Dr. Wiel's 8 weeks to optimum health he talks about a lot of things in our diet that are effecting our genes. I'm just saying that I am pretty concerned about it, and trying to do my best for myself and my own kiddos. I wish you all the best. Namaste-Anora
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
27 Mar 09
I definitely believe that genetics can play a part in obesity - not as you say the only factor but can certainly contribute! I know some people who eat healthily , exercise and really look after themselves but are still over weight and I think part of that must be down to hereditary factors! Haven't scientists found a gene that is supposed to contribute to obesity? I would love to learn a bit more! xxxx
2 people like this
• United States
27 Mar 09
I always say that genectis play a part in societies obesity it doesn't cause every obese case but it does cause some people to be seriously obese. Look at my reply to the first poster and you'll see some of my research.
3 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
27 Mar 09
You really have researched this haven't you sweety - I don't know where you find the time! I have to say that a lot of this backs up the way I think too - I must have a brin in there somewhere after all! xxx
2 people like this
• United States
28 Mar 09
LOL!! When I'm concerned or serious about a topic I usually research it quite a bit but the kids were at school when I looked into this.
2 people like this
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
26 Mar 09
Genetics can indeed play a large part in a person's weight. If they are genetically pre-determined to "hold onto" or carry more weight than they will have more difficulty staying trim. It is definitely not an excuse though. Even if you were "doomed" by genetics, you can still control the environment factor - food intake, exercise and lifestyle. While people with the overweight genes may never be skinny, thin or even "athletic" in shape, they can at least maintain a healthy weight. There is a difference in being obese, overweight and heavy. A person can be heavy, but still be at a healthy weight for their body type.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Mar 09
Sorry I responded to you second comment above.. because I saw that you responded to that one also.
1 person likes this
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
26 Mar 09
No prob bella. And I understand where you're coming from. I would categorize you under the "extreme" medical case where the genetics play a LARGE role in the obesity factor. You are an exception, along with the other conditions listed. In no way do I mean to group you with the "normal?" genetically pre-dispositioned people. There quite a few of THEM, fewer of YOU. They often choose to give in and be lazy, allowing their predispositioned genes to fill out their bodies. YOU have very little choice. No matter what you do, you're fighting a losing battle. I sympathize with you and others in similar condition.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Mar 09
Thank you I just wish I wasn't I would love to have all the work I do go actually pay off but at the end of the day I get stressed and depressed. Still I'm not one to give up easily. So I guess I must fight until I'm out of breath.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
27 Mar 09
DOnt know about obesity but I know big people run on my dads side of the family HIm 2 of his sisters and 1 brother were big people one the one brother I would say was obese. I top over 300 pounds and tehn the one briother was so skinny that a big wind could of blown him away. So I used to watched my weight Now I have a big tummy which comes fromloose muscles I know from haveing 5 kids. So I imaging it could very well be in ther genes
2 people like this
• United States
27 Mar 09
Read my response to the first responder .. I put all my documentation there but as I said in some cases it does some others are just lazy.. LOL and some are due to meds but people need to be aware that not all obese poeple are sitting on the couch shoving bon bons into their face.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 09
Here's my personal experience, I recently married a man with a little girl of his own, when we first started dating she was obese, age 4 and 79lbs and short for her age, my 10 year old son just now weighs 80 lbs. Her mother is obese and her father is certainly over weight. My children are all thin, by the time she was turning 7 she was 54lbs and a lot taller but she was still larger than my kids, but by most standards her weight was fine, she will just always be a bigger girl. So yeah eating habits make it worse but a lot of it is genetics, you can't do much about the way you are built, your bone size, or things like that.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Mar 09
There are lots of genetic factors that people leave out and don't think about has she been tested for any metabolic issues? I would try that becuase if left untreated can cause worse problems later...
1 person likes this
@vjsinduja (1035)
• Sri Lanka
27 Mar 09
Yes, genetics does play a role in obesity. Most people obese because of their improper intake of food and being a couch potato. But for some, genetics is the reason for their obesity.On my own I have noticed it. I have friend she is fat due genetic inheritance from her grand parents.
• United States
27 Mar 09
There are so many factors with genectics that people don't realize .. thanks for taking the time to look outside the box and see that yes it does play a part.
2 people like this
@salonga (27957)
• Philippines
27 Mar 09
There are clear evidences that obesity could run in the genes. However this is not an excuse to just sit down and do nothing. There are precautionary measures to undertake like regular exercise and correct diet so if these are done I don't think there is no reason why you could still keep your obesity. Obesity runs in the genes and stays in those people who are lazy to help themselves. They would just sit and eat and just reason out, Oh it is in the genes, what can I do? How pathetic!
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
27 Mar 09
Yes, I'm sure genetics do play some part in obesity. I don't know whether thyroid problems can be carried down, but that's one area to look at. There are a few families I know where the whole family are obese, but then, I guess their diet could have a lot to do with it. Brightes Blessings.
• United States
28 Mar 09
If you read my response at the top of this page you'll see that some genetics can really really do ya in and like I said there are those that really just don't care and eat bon bons all day those ones drive me nutters. They complain about their weight and do nothing but those who have killed themselves to either maintain their weight or just to try and lose and can't they have all the right in the world to b!tch and moan. LOL!!!
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
28 Mar 09
Yes, I see what you mean. Thank you for pointing out that response. I agree with you... nobody should sit on their azz and moan about their weight. I know sometimes it's a viscious circle as in my case, I'm not allowed to do regimented exercise because I slipped a disc at one time, and also, I have problems with my knee, but that doesn't stop me using my weights and generally stretching. Dang, you can even sit on a chair and exercise. I have one of those big gym balls and they're wonderful, for me especially because if I get down on the floor, my knee makes it quite difficult for me to get back up again! Anyway, I at least make an effort, and so should anybody else who's feeling bad and miserable about their weight problem. There's no excuse for making things worse!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 09
I know that if I'm laying on the couch watching t.v. I do some leg lifts in between every commercial. I hate being lazy and the funny thing is I don't watch t.v. too incredibly much.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
30 Mar 09
I feel that it does but too many use it as an excuse to stay obese which, of course, they shouldn't but then again, we all have faults so no one can throw a stone that is without sin, right? lol On the other hand, it could be medication too. I gained A LOT of weight thanks to medicine and before I had a hysterectomy I was taking fertility pills too which didn't nothing to help me one bit. I don't know how to diet because I've never had to before but am going to try a diet that my mother told me about that a neighbor of hers is on which she doesn't eat anything that has flour in it. That should be relatively easy..... I hope!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 09
You'd be surprised what has flour in it. But I know that genetics play a part in some and you would be surprised to learn of the extreme cases that there are. I agree about the meds out there too.I wish you luck with the diet that your going to try.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
30 Mar 09
Thanks, I need it because it's all so new to me. My younger days were like having to eat to keep the weight I had because I was a bean pole but now I'm a bit chunky which I hate but I've got to figure out this diet thing or I'll stay this way or get bigger. It really does suck big time!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 09
REad my response at the top of the page. I didn't realize that I had what I had until about a yr and a half ago and I'll have to say that it's hard and it a battle but it's better to know if your fighting against something or not.
1 person likes this
@ShepherdSpy (8562)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
26 Mar 09
The "Nature or Nurture" debate on Obesity could run and run..nature will give someone the bone structure and metabolic problems,but a lifestyle of eating triple the daily recommended energy intake by eating fast food every meal in a house where the kitchen is the least used room and the sofa in front of the TV the most used furniture can't help but share equal blame..I saw an article in a newspaper last week with a photo of a family of 4 (they may have featured in a TV show-I hadn't seen it if they did) whose combined weight was somewhere north of 80 stone,the Youngest daughter was I think 17,and the article mentioned none of the rest of the family had worked in over 10 years through weight related complications,diabetes,etc..and were living on sickness and disability handouts..One of them mentioned they were too tired even after just sitting watching TV to go out of the house..
• United States
26 Mar 09
I realize that some people themselves cause the medical problems by sitting there and indugling and then over indulging.. I guess what I'm trying to say is when you look at a fat person or pc term obese person not all of them are that way because they just sit on the couch and eat bonbons and b!tch about the latest soups and what not. read my response to poster one.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
26 Mar 09
Thanks for the additional info.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 09
your welcome...
1 person likes this
@riyasam (16578)
• India
31 Mar 09
i think genetics do play a role in obesity as to otherwise how can it be explain a person becoming fat without much effort or a person who is thin tries to become fat by consuming lot of fatty foods yet he remains thin.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Mar 09
True that. I do believe that genectics play a part .. I have proof of that .. My doctor told me I'll have to work three times harder than anyone else.. And that is because my insulin never shuts off and over production of insulin just turns to fat automatically.
1 person likes this
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
27 Mar 09
I have heard and read many things that have said that genetics can play a part in obesity and if someone has a history of obese family members they might become or be obese themselves, and that factor could make it more difficult for someone with a long family history of obsity to lose wight, but I dont think it would be imposable for them to lose wight as long as that person is determined and dedicated to reaching there wight loss goals they can and will lose wight.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 09
I think you should look at the response given to the above poster ... It's a bunch of informations that I just won't type over.. loL!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 09
I have three factors weighing against me in the battle of the bulge (pardon the pun). Incontinence, medication, and genetics. * In mouse studies, the proof is conclusive that genetics can and does make you obese. There is the less clinical evidence of families with every member fat despite each member having documented different lifestyles and habits. There are members of these families adopted into OTHER families for pity's sakes and they still have the traits of the original family. The opposite is also true; thin families. * The fact that modern life has created a more sedentary human animal has brought out these genetic obesity traits into stark screaming obscenity in the case of the morbidly obese is sad. What is equally sad is that we blame the obese for a medical condition they have. We blamed people with arthritis and other medical conditions for their woes a thousand years ago, claiming it was either sloth or the sin of they or their parents.
@agrim94 (3811)
• India
2 Apr 09
Although rare obesity syndromes caused by mutations in single genes have been described, by far the greatest proportion of obesity in humans is not due to mutations in single genes. Genetic predisposition may not be health destiny, but studies indicate that inherited genetic variation is an important risk factor for obesity. Evidence from twin, adoption and family studies strongly suggests that biological relatives exhibit similarities in maintenance of body weight. Genetic factors also are beginning to be implicated in the degree of effectiveness of diet and physical activity interventions for weight reduction. These genetic risk factors tend to be familial, but are not inherited in a simple manner; they may reflect many genetic variations, and each variation may contribute a small amount of risk and may interact with environmental elements to produce the clinical condition of obesity.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Yep, I do think genetics or heredity has something to do with these saddlebags of mine. It's my mom's fault! Of course the fact that I just binged because I'm having a lousy day and I'm frustrated might have something to do with it too! Serioulsy, I think it's a little of both. I think some of us are just wired with slower metabolisms etc, but I think other issues also contribute to weight gain.
@onlydia (2808)
• United States
1 Apr 09
Yes as a matter of fact I do believe it is genetics as my son is very active and he is still over weight and he rides bike and runs and all that really unfun stuff to me. I'm over weight as I sit on my butt to much.So yes he is always on the go. You have a good day your friend onlydia