Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

So it IS genetic after all. – quick hit. February 4, 2010


http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20100204/hl_hsn/veryobesepeoplemaybemissinggenes

“Adding more evidence to theories linking DNA to weight, European scientists report that a genetic variation seems to virtually guarantee that a person will become obese.”   i love it when an article opens like that……in the clamor that is LOSE WIEGHT  FATTY or you will DIIIEEEEEE rhetoric that passes for news, today’s article was refreshing.   According to the article, this study was the first of its kind in “proving” that weight has a genetic component.   They studied the genomes of over 16,000, and found 19 had a genetic abnormality, and all of the 19 were obese. 

“We feel that this is a major advance — the first paper to convincingly demonstrate that a relatively rare genetic variant can also be an important cause of common obesity,” said study co-author Alexandra Blakemore, a senior lecturer at Imperial College London.”Although the percentage of severely obese people with this (variation) is just under one person, that adds up to an awful lot of people in total,” Blakemore said. “The effect on carriers is very strong.””

So there we have it….some of the first hard evidence of a genetic component to obesity….i wonder how long it will be before they find all the genetic causes, and then try to change THEM, for our own good you see, because we shouldnt be fat, even if it’s in our GENES!  The article DOES admit “Not all obese people can get skinnier by eating less and exercising more, Weiss said. “The bottom line is that they may be able to eat less, but their bodies may be so efficient that they can extract calories from food much more effectively and may not be burning energy as efficiently as others,” he said.”  

It goes on to say that “This fact leads to unhappy news for some obese people, he said. “If you’re eating just one pea and you’re gaining weight, you’ll have to cut the pea in half.” WTF….i’m supposed to eat half a pea now, even though my genes make me fat….I think he’s missing it entirely…./headdesk.  Some people are genetically predisposed to be fat….they DO reach a homeostasis (trust me i can eat whatever the fuck i want and i wont go over 330….but i can starve myself and never get below 280)  and eating half a pea a day and exercising for 8 hours on top of it wont keep it off for long….sure you can lose 80-100 lbs on the biggest loser, but lets see you keep it up without condemning yourself to running marathons on 1200 calories a day.  Or keep it off for 5 years.  95% of diets fail.  period.  and they do so because, as we are now discovering, study by study, comparing everything from genomes to twins that it is genetic.

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8 Responses to “So it IS genetic after all. – quick hit.”

  1. Tehomet Says:

    Hello! I’m a newish subscriber but haven’t commented before. I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your blog. It’s smart and funny and makes me think.

    About this quote from the article you were talking about today: “The bottom line is that they may be able to eat less, but their bodies may be so efficient that they can extract calories from food much more effectively and may not be burning energy as efficiently as others,” he said. — Weirdly enough, I feel proud of my fat body, reading that. I mean, I try to love my body anyway, regardless of what it looks like, but that quote really brings into focus how lucky I am to be fat. If there was a famine right now, God forbid, only me and the people like me would be likely to survive…. so my fat is actually a natural blessing! Who woulda thunk it?!

    And I have to also ask, if the doctor is saying that a fat person is going to have to ‘cut the pea in half’ to reduce calories, how is the fat person going to get enough actual nutrition, i.e. vitamins and minerals and fibre and so on? Aren’t there some vitamins that can only be got from consuming fat? Obviously there isn’t going to be much goodness in some ridiculously calorie-restricted diet… If the doctor had any ability to see beyond his or her anti-fat prejudice, he or she would say something like, “If you’re eating just one pea and gaining weight, concentrate on eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise and don’t worry about it.” God, the diet industry is such rubbish!

  2. Patsy Nevins Says:

    That sounds like so-called ‘obesity expert’ Judith Rodin who insisted that fat people eat more calories than we need…period. She was asked if that meant even someone eating 1200 calories or less per day, or 800 or whatever & replied that, yes, if you didn’t eat a lot & were still fat, you needed to eat less. Goddess FORBID that you might accept your natural size & live comfortably in your body as it is!

    They established long ago that body size is at least 77% genetic, which to me does not mean a ‘bad’ gene which needs to be ‘cured’, but that fat is as genetic as height or eye color, etc., inherited from our relatives, & as normal & natural as any of those things. But, no, when they come up with these theories & studies, they still have to insist that it is bad, abnormal, & something for which they must find a cure. We are fat because we are fat & because, in the history of the human species, it has been a good survival trait. I wish that they would leave us alone, stop analyzing us, & stop trying to ‘fix’ us.

  3. Yeah…eating half a pea a day isn’t adequate nutrition. I don’t care how fat or thin you are. That’s a ridiculous (and dangerous) statement to make.

  4. Meowser Says:

    I am going to assume the “half a pea” comment was supposed to be a joke and it just didn’t translate that way in print. Not very funny, but better a misfired joke than assuming that’s actually meant to be a serious prescription for fat people. The problem is, a lot of people (especially very young people) reading that aren’t going to think he’s kidding. Need I tell you that fasting when you’re insulin resistant is a VERY VERY VERY VERY bad idea?

  5. Miriam Heddy Says:

    Beyond the pea problem (and I’m just going to roll my eyes and move on, because that guy should not be allowed to speak in public), my glass is half-empty reading of this article focuses on this part:

    “In the new study, researchers examined the genes of teens and adults who had learning difficulties and developmental delays. Thirty-one people were missing the genes in question, and all were obese…. The genetic variation in question robs people of about 30 genes and appears to be found in seven of every 1,000 severely obese people, the researchers report. The same variation also may be linked to mental retardation and learning disabilities. ”

    In a society as ableist as our own, where fat people are always-already assumed to be oblivious (but perhaps jolly), less intelligent than thin people, out of control, and–as we saw from Wall-E–baby-like, the fact that they initially looked at people with LDs and developmental delays who were also fat is likely to cement existing prejudices.

  6. Carolyn Says:

    Oh, while I desperately want to be happy with this, the first thing that jumps out at me is “OMGOBESEPEOPLEAREDEFECTIVE!!”

    The title very well could have been “Thin people have extra genes that help them stay thin.” But no, obese people are deficient and defective.

  7. living400lbs Says:

    There is quite a bit of research on the heritability of weight* but I think these photos FatFu posted really get the point across: http://fatfu.wordpress.com/2007/05/12/twins/

    That said, this study seems to be saying that some specific genetic variations can result in obesity, not that weight overall is heritable.

    *Example: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/256/1/51 :
    Height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed in a sample of 1974 monozygotic and 2097 dizygotic male twin pairs. Concordance rates for different degrees of overweight were twice as high for monozygotic twins as for dizygotic twins. Classic twin methods estimated a high heritability for height, weight, and BMI, both at age 20 years (.80.78, and.77, respectively) and at a 25-year follow-up (.80.81, and.84, respectively). Height, weight, and BMI were highly correlated across time, and a path analysis suggested that the major part of that covariation was genetic. These results are similar to those of other twin studies of these measures and suggest that human fatness is under substantial genetic control.

  8. Patsy Nevins Says:

    Amen. “under substantial genetic control.” Much evidence suggests that weight/body type is even more heritable than height. NOT ‘defective genes’, just a very hereditary trait…perfectly normal & natural. No, fat people are not all either gluttons or suffering from some genetic ‘disorder’ akin to sickle cell anemia or familial hypercholesterolemia; we are naturally, genetically fat, in the same sense that I am naturally, genetically green-eyed & redhaired. I wish to HELL that they would stop trying to fix something which isn’t broken, but as long as they can snow some people, prey on their fears & insecurities, & rake in around $115 billion yearly for their efforts, there is no hope of that.


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