Obesity and Genetics
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Obesity and Genetics

In the article, I describe why America has a trend of increasing obesity and how genes play a role in this problem. There is also discussion about ways to prevent obesity and monitor family history though pedigrees. Furthermore, there is information on current research and how it may impact society in the future. Obesity is caused by genetic as well as environmental factors and understanding these concepts will be important for prevention and try to eradicate this problem in first world countries.

In this article,we will be discussing the problem of obesity and the role that genetics and family history plays a part in it. Obesity has been a prevalent problem in the United States. According to the CDC, every state in America has at least had a prevalence of at least 20% of the adult population being obese. Some experts argue that one reason how genetics is playing a role in obesity is the “thrifty genotype hypothesis. The concept is that “energy thrifty genes” have increased in the past where environment conditions were much harsher and finding food was less predictable. Therefore these genes that have helped our ancestors survive during unfavorable conditions have been passed down through generations. These same genes are causing us to be overweight in America where food is very easy for us to find.  Fortunately, by using different techniques we can prevent obesity.

            There are ways in which we can monitor susceptibility of obesity. One way is monitor family history of obesity. Pedigrees can be made to find the odds of genetic susceptibility. For example, health care professionals can easily obtain information to help people that are at high risk for obesity related diseases. Examples of obesity related disease include heart problems or diabetes. If you find out that you have had a family history with these problems, active prevention can be taken so that complications will not happen to you as well. Those that have a high genetic susceptibility to obesity can monitor their food intake as well as eat healthier foods to prevent diseases as well as becoming overweight.

            Researchers are also trying to find the exact genes that are causing obesity. For example, there has been a study on mice regarding a protein hormone called Leptin. Researchers found that a homozygous single gene mutation causes the mice to have trouble coding for this protein and they became obese. Once the mutants are injected with leptin they return to their normal body weight. Hopefully in the future, scientist will be able to find a way to implicate their research to benefit society.

            In conclusion the reason why Americans are becoming more obese is due to the fact of genetic variation along with changing environmental conditions. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and stop obesity. With our knowelege of obesity hopefully we will be able to stop this prevelant disease in America and other first world countries.

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