Obesity Genetics

There has been much discussion as to whether an individual’s genetic makeup plays a role in determining metabolic efficiency, and influencing a person’s predisposition to obesity.

Certain populations appear to metabolize food more economically in order to survive in challenging environments with restricted access to calories. When those same people are exposed to plentiful quantities of high calorie nourishment, there is a tendency to gain weight.

Often, obesity runs in families. However, it is not always easy to establish whether or not this is because of shared genetic factors, or similar lifestyle issues. The results of various research studies point towards a greater influence from genetics than from the environment. For example, adopted children were found to be closer in weight as adults, to their biological parents, than to their adoptive parents.

Certain rare mutations in single genes can be responsible for obesity, but this represents an extremely small number of cases.

Fortunately, a genetic predisposition to obesity does not necessarily mean that a person will be overweight. Regular physical exercise and sensible, balanced, food choices contribute towards the maintenance of a healthy weight. Even small changes in diet and behavior can result in weight loss, and benefit the overall health and well being of a person.

It is hoped that further research will uncover clues as to why some people struggle to lose weight. It is apparent that obesity is linked to metabolism, and has little to do with personality or a character flaw. In the future, more helpful therapies for weight loss may be linked to obesity genetics, and the discovery of treatment aimed at appetite control, and metabolic intervention.

Related Articles

Obesity in Adults

Leptin And Obesity

Obesity And Children

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2017 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.