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New Study on Genetic Basis of Obesity

A really important article was published in the New York Times May 8th. It explains that obesity is genetic, that if you are genetically destined to be significantly overweight, your body is going to do what it can to keep you that way, such as giving you intense food cravings and basically making you insane if you don't eat. That's not to say you can't (or shouldn't) do what you can to eat healthily and not for emotional reasons, and it is no excuse for not exercising and working to stay fit, but it suggests that you are NOT a "failure" if you're genetically large. I actually found it inspirational -- to get back on track about taking better care of myself even. Feeling guilty or ashamed has never helped me lower my weight or increase my fitness. And rethinking a maintainable goal weight is helping me. I come from generations of very large women, as well as overweight men, so I know in my case genes play a large part. My brother, who looks like other family members, struggles to keep his body fat UP to a healthy 6 percent.


Sat. May 19, 11:18pm

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Re: New study on genetic basis of obesity

I feel like we share similar backgrounds. My family also is quite large. It is unheard of to have anyone in our family under 200 pounds. (I currently am as is my older sister) My older sister was almost 400 pounds and 5' 3" tall. She got the bypass surgery and is now at about 190. She looks great. I am trying not to fall on the same pathways as my family. Both my mom and dad are in the higher end of 200's.

My eating habits stem back to growing up. We did not have much food and ate pretty much whatever was available. It also didn't help that just about everyone called me fat! I had quite the complex. And now that I am grown and have money for food, I buy lots of it. I'm scared to not have some respects, I buy way more than necessary in fear of running out. So, there are plenty of reasons for my weight. But I am working hard to control it...I changed my eating habits slightly and maintained for a few weeks, then I started cracking down on eating smaller portions and healthier foods and have already shed 6 pounds in 6 days. I also have increased my exercise habits.

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 10:10 AM

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I wish this was more commonly understood. I am 5'2, 155 lbs. I have worked out, lifted weights and watched my diet for over 20 years. However, I continue to put on weight. Now, at 50, it is further complicated by hormonal shifts. I started training with a Pilates instructor 6 months ago due to a back injury from lifting. He said Pilates would change my body. I do have a stronger core but have not lost any weight. I lost 1/2 inch in my waist. He finally agrees that it must be genetic.

I am so frustrated when doctors, trainers and well meaning friends tell me I need to exercise more and eat less. I can bench press 100 lbs, work out to 90% of my maximum heart rate, run up 2 flights of stairs. I am muscular even with the body fat. And I eat a clean diet, no wheat, healthy fats, no processed junk, none of the white stuff (potatoes, rice, bread). Still I put on abdominal fat every year. All the women in my family are obese. At reunions, I look healthy compared to everyone else. But most people still think weight problems are because of poor eating habits or being a couch potato. I am evidence that you can be athletic, eat right and still be overweight. I wish more people understood this, especially doctors.

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 10:13 AM

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excuses. nothing more.

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 11:53 AM

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Thank you to the poster at 11:53am. That's just the kind of caring support people are looking for on Peer Trainer. I'm sure you've made someone's day. You're all heart.

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 5:36 PM

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i, too, come from a large family. the males are all over 6' (my dad, his brother, my brother...) and my uncle & dad have been up to 400 lbs.and my bro is 250. my dad's parents were tall and sturdy. my mom is chronically overweight and my sister is about 5'6' and weighs over 200. i am 5'4" and must be constantally vigilant to maintain a weight of 140. i never, ever wanted to use the "genetics excuse" but maybe there's more to the story than people like 11:53 are willing to admit.

Monday, May 21, 2007, 10:49 AM

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