Why some are naturally lean ?

The “genes”…

Take a walk around the town and pay close detail to the people you see. You will see some great looking lean people perhaps downing their morning bagel, then you might notice someone very self-conscious and overweight. One thing is definitely true – our society is getting fatter and fatter due to the abundance of food and the variety of crazy meals we create and consume. So how do some stay lean ?

There are plenty of reasons. Obviously some just live the “diet lifestyle” and over obsess about the food or starve themselves. But others, luckily – including me đŸ˜› happen to eat and wolf down everything in sight and we don’t really gain weight or if we do it’s probably only water retention after a night of “eat it all”.

Today, I am focusing on Cambridge University scientists’ find. They suggest that it is rooted in our DNA. Clinically obese people are often told to “stop being lazy and start moving more” however Professor Stephen O’Rahilly, Co-director of the Institute of Metabolic Research suggests that obesity, metabolic rate are about our genetics.

“We know for sure that a propensity for obesity – or its opposite, a propensity for leanness – is rooted in the genes. Some 70 per cent of the variation between people in terms of their amount of body fat is explained by inherited differences that are built into our genetic make-up and passed from generation to generation,” he said.

However, their work showed that those genes control mostly how satisfied we are after eating, how often do we get hungry, at what time etc.

We know two theories about “getting fat”. The first one “thrifty gene” developed by James Neel explains the obesity lying behind diabetes. The thrifty genotype would have been advantageous for early humans allowing them to store fat in times of abundance and survive in times of food scarcity. In modern societies with an abundance of food, this genotype prepares individuals for a famine that never comes. The result is obesity and diabetes. Speakman came up with another theory “drifty gene” and argues that the modern distribution of obesity stems from a genetic drift in the genes encoding the system that regulates metabolism and controlling an upper limit on our body fatness. Such a drift may have started because around 2 million years ago when ancestral humans ceased to be prey, which was probably a key factor maintaining the upper boundary of the regulation system.


Different scientists have different opinions and the case of obesity being rooted in our genes, which genes and why/ how has been a hot topic especially now that we notice a rise in obese people in our society.

In my opinion, yes genetics plays a great role in that case, but knowing you are prone to gain weight, why not pay closer attention to what you eat ? You cannot blame your weight on genes but on you in the end. We are humans, we are powerful and capable of change, that is where some might be called lazy. Each and every one of us has been “unlucky” with something different in life or genes and if we want to change it, we have to work on it. Moreover, exercise is just a mood booster and even if not physically, mentally you will be healthier every day. So get up and dance ! Move !

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