“I’m overweight because obesity runs in my family. We’re all fat.”
Patients sometimes come in saying that they are overweight because it runs in their family and they can’t help it. That is not actually true. There is no gene that makes you become overweight. Don’t blame your genes.
What does run in families, is bad habits. Families that grow up together and eat together, end up “inheriting” bad eating habits from mom and dad. That is what explains why families sometimes all look alike.
One thing that is genetic is where you put on your fat. If your mom carries most of her extra weight in her thighs, you will too. If your dad mainly carries around a beer belly, you will too. That part is genetic; where you store fat. That’s why you see sisters that look similar and have similar body composition and brothers that all look alike when they are overweight.
Yes, their are hormones and genetic factors that affect appetite and certain parts of metabolism. BUT…. there is no gene or genetic predisposition holding you back and forcing you to be overweight.
The only situation where you are genetically going to be overweight no matter what, is if you have “short stature syndrome.” Very few people have this rare disease. These people rarely grow over 4 feet tall and have to be overweight. They are the ones that can’t help but be obese.
With nearly 60% of our country being overweight and about 35% being obese, we have to combat these notions and myths so that we can get better and lose weight.
We have to!