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Diet Talk from the Doc

by Dr.Diet, Diet.com's Medical Director

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Thirty to 40 genes that affect body weight have been isolated according to geneticists who say that many people have a strong genetic predisposition to being overweight or obese. The biologic basis for obesity that includes hormonal and neurological differences in people is being researched and will most likely lead to the development of an anti-obesity pill some time in the next decade, say researchers.

Is Obesity About Willpower or Wiring?
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Dr. Diet weighs in:

This article may give solace to the people who chronically struggle with their weight and have always felt that there were biological differences that made their personal struggles harder. Yes, we do know that genetics plays a role in one’s body weight but there’s more to this complicated story.

When looking at one’s body weight, we know that genetics typically can account on average for 50 % of one’s body weight.

What that means is that the other 50% of your body weight is under your control " which is the area in which I have spent my life work helping people to better manage.

When we look at the huge rise in obesity during the last decades, scientists do not think that this rise is due to a change in our gene pool. Instead, we think that it is due to a change in the availability and portion sizes of food and technology engineering activity out of our daily lifestyle. In other words, we’re eating more and moving less.

Similar to other diseases where genes have been isolated like in breast cancer, researchers know that how you live your life (what you eat, how active you are and how you deal with stress) can have big influences on your genetic tendencies. The same goes with your body weight.

If your entire family has always struggled with their weight and you think you have a genetic tendency toward being overweight, know that there’s still a lot you can do to help yourself and though you may have to be a bit more diligent, observant and mindful, you can lose weight and become healthier.

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