Is Our Weight Is Really Under Our Control? | Healios

Is our weight is really under our control?

Today, we know more about obesity and its ill effects on health than ever before.

How far we’ve come in understanding obesity?

Studies have shown that the population at large still shows prejudice against overweight people. These manifest in a belief that overweight and obesity is due to his or her fault and he or she deserve no sympathy until they change.

“People mistakenly think that obesity is a behavior. In fact, it is believed as a “serious and complex disease.” This thinking leads people to adopt a “you brought this on yourself” mentality, which is not helpful or fair.

“You don’t choose obesity. It’s like diabetes. It’s not really under your control.”

Our genes determine 40 to 70 percent of our body mass index (BMI).

Given that human genetics haven’t changed much in the past century, why the sudden widening of our collective waists?

The thing that has changed in the last 40 years is environment. Introduction of sedentary lifestyles coupled with a rise in cheap, fast, processed foods, which together have created a perfect storm of conditions contributing the obesity epidemic.

“Our genes load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger”

Basically, our bodies still operate like they did back in those days when we always needed to be ready for famine. The body’s main objective back then was to store fat just in case. Today, the body stores excess fat even when we don’t want or need it to.

This is where it gets interesting—some people store fat differently based on their genes.

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