The Fat Gene and Family Obesity

Obesity can run in the familyOver the last few decades, scientific research has found what is commonly referred to as “the fat gene.” People with certain differences in the FTO gene have a 20% to 30% higher chance of obesity, so if you have an FTO gene variation, does that mean you are fated to be fat? Not necessarily.
You may have also read the research that indicated that children of overweight parents have an 80% chance of being overweight, so you look at your parents, look at yourself and think your genetic predisposition has you doomed. Again, that’s not the case as your genetics accounts for only a small part of that 80%. What matters more is your environment. Nurture plays a bigger part than nature.

Family Dynamics and Weight

In addition to the FTO gene, you have hundreds of genetic markers that can make you predisposed to become overweight. Researchers believe that your home environment has an even larger affect on weight than genetics. That’s because obesity is a complex disease with many factors contribute to it, including genetics, your own behavior and overall environment. Your own behavior results from habits practiced by your family. This includes food and eating patterns as well as activity levels.

The bottom line is although genetics plays a role, how you live your life determines if you are fated to be obese.  Science may now classify you as obese, but if you look back and are honest with yourself, you’ll see how your environment and habits contributed to your excessive weight gain.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it, it’s hard to change and easier to remain just the way you are. Your parents and immediate family were your first social network. If they had that extra helping of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, chances are you did too. Parents often encourage their children to eat more or not let food go to waste. If your family consists of couch potatoes whose main activity is watching television, that same premise may also be true.

That social network extends even further these days to friends and traditional and online social media, which condemns discrimination against obese people. At one point, you’re told to embrace your weight but at the same time, the excessive pounds have begun to take a toll against your health.

Taking Charge of the Situation

When you elect bariatric surgery as a means to reduce excessive weight, you have already taken the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. That’s only part of the equation, as the smaller stomach created by surgery can expand after time if you begin to overeat once again.

The road to a slimmer you often begins with modifying your behavior to lose pounds before your weight reduction surgery. Finding the reason why you overeat and establishing good eating habits before undergoing bariatric surgery makes for a more successful post-surgery weight reduction period. Educating yourself on your reasons for overeating will help you keep the weight off for good.

Start your weight loss journey now and become a renewed person, with more energy, good health and cheerfulness to enjoy life. Don't let obesity and that 'fat gene' control you!

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