The blog

Obesity: the struggle is real

by on July 21, 2016

I am always harping on the importance of plant based diets and exercise. Obviously my research and personal and professional experience have me convinced of their benefits.

That being said, I often note that this does lead to a type of “fat shaming”. This I definitely do not endorse. Having worked with so many people suffering from obesity, I can tell you the disease is far more complex than simply eat less and move more. Until you have walked a mile in another’s shoes, it is hard to understand.

Genetic studies of twins separated at birth, growing up in different environments, have shown that genetics play a large role. And a study just came out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with the following conclusion:
Environmental factors shared by co-twins affect BMI in childhood, but little evidence for their contribution was found in late adolescence. Our results suggest that genetic factors play a major role in the variation of BMI in adolescence among populations of different ethnicities exposed to different environmental factors related to obesity.

Genes code for hunger levels and metabolism. MRI studies have shown that people that suffer from obesity lack dopamine receptors in the pleasure centers of the brain and therefore do not derive as much satisfaction with typical food, or food portion. Certain food substances, like casomorphines, can certainly make certain genetically susceptible individuals addicted to unhealthy foods.

Your genes are not always your destiny. Obviously, a healthy diet and lifestyle benefits everybody and can help avoid many of the genetically predetermined diseases.

But keep in mind that many may struggle, and the struggle is real.