Being Fat is Inherited

Posted by at 12:26PM

This article in the New York Times really makes you rethink obesity. Researchers found that fat people who lost weight looked like skinny people, but were metabolically more like starving people. They also found that people who were adopted had fat levels closer to their biological parents than their adopted ones, disproving that environment is the main factor in obesity. The reverse was true too: they had skinny people stuff themselves to gain weight, and it took months to gain 20 lbs. And as soon as they were off the fat diet, they quickly lost weight.
Makes you think twice about muttering under your breath when you see an overweight person eating at McDonalds. They can’t really help it.


12 Responses to “Being Fat is Inherited”

  1. Anonymous says:

    They may not be able to help being fat, but they can certainly help eating at McDonald’s.

  2. Jason says:

    Sure, eating fast food isn’t helping them get healthy. But I think the point is that even if they didn’t eat fast food, they would still be fat.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I agree Jason. I’m a ‘skinny’ person myself, but my half sisters are both overweight (and our mother). Yet, my diet would probably be the worst of all of them – chocolate every day, and the like. But having said that, they probably eat more than I do. But our metabolism has a lot to do with it, and there do seem to be biochemical factors. The whole issue with syndrome X/metabolic syndrome, points to this.

  4. Alex says:

    I do not agree 100% with the article. Environment does play a role. I know several people who are overweight but their parents are not. Even their grandparents are ‘normal’ persons. However, they are not active enough. They are not spending all the calories they consume during the day.
    Heart Health

  5. Francisco says:

    Read this other article entitled “Are Certain Thin People Actually Obese?” at
    Is it very interesting.

  6. Sammy says:

    Although our parents and even our friends can influence our eating habits they are not the main problem. The future health of ourselves as well as our children are in the balance. More and more people opt for the quick meal rather than actually selecting fresh food and cooking a nutritional meal, there are many recipes available that use fresh ingredients and dont take long but this even seems too much. This a sad fact of living into todays world of fast food and ready meals.

  7. unknown says:

    that dog is so fat,i wonder if it can even walk. in the picture it kind of looks like a seal.

  8. Laurena says:

    I agree with Alex. Environment does play a role. For example kids who are exposed to bad eating habits and were never taught to excersise or never played any sports are more likely to be overweight than kids who have. People can control their food choices and activity level. If you get fat you get fat; it’s what you let yourself get exposed to. It’s your fault.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That dog is big enough as it is so why is there a treat sitting in front of it?!

  10. Jason says:

    Stanford School of Medicine Magazine has an interesting article about how willpower is not enough. We don’t have as much control as we might think.

  11. anon says:

    I think Sammy has got it right. I live with three other people who seriously have no idea how to cook. Their idea of a good dinner consists of pre cooked frozen main courses with canned vegetables on the side. Even that is better than fast food though, but still.. all these pre cooked, preserved foods (not to mention the genetically altered “fresh foods”) that we put into ourselves can’t be good for us. But the thing is, is that you need to stop looking at obese people as unhealthy, and maybe question yourself a little more. My roomates aren’t fat… but theres no way I would eat the foods (crap, really) that they do. People need to start thinking about the junk they put into themselves for a second before they actually do it; maybe learn how to cook and come to the realization that homecooked meals are far better than anything you could buy in the frozen foods section or a fast food “restaurant”. I don’t know, I could rant about this forever, so I’ll just stop. All I’m saying is take a step back and consider that you don’t have to be fat to be unhealthy, and maybe reexamine yourself instead of trying to figure out why other people are fat and you’re not.

  12. Gillian Lisa says:

    Hmmmm very interesting. But I did lose a considerable amount of weight in the pass couple of years. So now I am actually ‘a starving person?” hmmm interesting.


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