“Obesity genes” is a term that many people use often without truly understanding its full meaning. While it’s true that your genes play an important role in your overall body type, structure and weight, there are a number of other important factors that help to determine your fitness and overall health as well. Many of these factors are ones that you will actually have full control over, regardless of what you may be genetically predisposed to. Read on for some of the largest misconceptions about obesity genes that exist today.
1. Some People are Born to be Obese
The single largest misconception about obesity genes oftentimes becomes an excuse of sorts. Many people believe that obesity is solely caused by genes or, more specifically, that genes will prevent certain people from ever being able to overcome obesity. The danger in this misconception is that it excuses unhealthy behavior which may further contribute to obesity or, at the very least, make it difficult to overcome obesity and lose weight. In truth, while genetic composition does indicate certain metabolic processes and other factors related to your weight, obesity is also caused by lack of proper exercise, poor nutrition and a number of other factors that are completely within your control.
2. “Big Bones” are Gene-Related
The “big bone” argument is that certain people are born large and overweight. While it’s true that some babies are born with a predisposition to gaining weight more quickly, the only factor that will truly determine your weight is the number of calories that you ingest as compared with the number of calories that you burn off through activity. Both of the items of this equation are fully within your control. If you ingest more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight. If, on the other hand, you burn off more calories through exercise and activity than you eat, you’ll lose weight. An even intake and output of calories will keep you at a consistent weight. “Big bones” and other genetic factors have nothing to do with it.
3. Obesity Genes Dictate Metabolism
While it is true that your genetics will partially determine the speed and efficiency of your metabolism, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other factors which will have an important effect on those things as well. Your metabolism is affected primarily by the foods that you eat and the amount of activity that you get. More active people tend to have higher muscle mass, which speeds up metabolism (muscle requires greater energy stores than fat and other body substances). Additionally, foods that are easy to break down will change the speed of your metabolism to make it work more quickly as well, while heavily processed foods slow down the metabolism, thereby causing you to apparently gain more weight from the foods that you eat.
For more information about how your own activities can influence your obesity more than your genetic background, speak with a doctor.