I hear it at the office every day. "I have increased weight because it's in my genes." "My parents are overweight, most of my relatives are overweight, "so I'm overweight too." "It's clear there's some gene problem here." But is there? Might our genes lead to weight increase? When we approach such a problem, the most simplistic, however not the most correct way to do that is to wonder if there used to be obesity in the past. The answer is yes, there used to be. But it wasn't as common as nowadays. Watching videos of the past, namely videos recorded 100 or 150 years ago, I often see overweight and obese people. Therefore, it may be a gene problem. However, right now in Greece, approximately 70% of the people are overweight or obese. Just a few decades ago, this rate was under 7%. Therefore, in the last two or three generations in our country, it's clear that genes haven't changed so much to justify such a change in weight. Let’s put the simplistic ways aside, and let's approach this scientifically. I'll refer to a study that was published a few years ago and gathered all the gene factors that are associated with increased weight. The researchers concluded that 1.5% the most of the weight difference they notice in people is attributed to genes. The other 88.5% is attributed to other factors. What exactly does this mean? The researchers tried to explain it giving a great example. Let's take two persons 160 cm high. In a magical way, we'll put all obesity-elated genes in one person, namely all these genes that make you obese, while we'll put all the genes that protect from obesity in the other person. We'll then let these two people grow in the exact same way. In a magical way, they'll eat the exact same things, they will exercise the same, they will be under the same stress, and they will sleep the same. Namely, we'll balance out the other 100 factors that affect weight increase. If we manage to do that and we weigh these two persons 30-40 years later, we'll see that their weight difference is only seven kilos. One person will be 60 kg and the other one will be 67. The difference is not insignificant. But it's not what people think. This is what the researchers of this study seem to claim after extended research of the gene factors that affect weight increase. Therefore, genes are only one of the more than 100 factors that affect weight increase. Nothing more. Another really important factor nowadays is the use of some drugs that may offer some benefits for our health, sometimes significant, but they lead to weight increase. If you'd like to find out more, click on the video on my right. Thank you.

Relevant Videos