Many an overweight person has claimed that the extra poundage is all due to their genes. There might be something to such an assertion. Researchers studying mice discovered a genetic mutation in the MRAP2 gene that didn't allow them to burn off calories from fat; this same genetic mutation was found in obese humans. Initially, the mice's genetic mutation caused them to eat less than the norm. However, despite the reduced calories, the mice gained about twice the poundage of normal mice. Eventually the mice's appetites returned, and they ate a typical diet — yet still gained more weight than mice without that mutation. Why? The bodies of the mice with the genetic mutation were storing fat, not burning it for fuel. In a study of 500 obese people, scientists found a similar situation with the human version of the MRAP2 gene [source: Sifferlin].
Keep in mind, though, that scientists have identified only about eight genetic mutations that cause obesity in humans. And these mutations are considered to cause less than 5 percent of all of the cases of obesity in society [source: Sifferlin]. So while your portly physique may be in your genes, it's more likely just in your jeans.
More Great Links
- Cohen, Bari Nan. "7 Weird Reasons You're Gaining Weight." Prevention. Feb. 20, 2014. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/health-problems-make-you-gain-weight
- Davis, Jeanie Lerche. "Top 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated." WebMD. July 25, 2005. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/top-10-ways-to-stay-hydrated
- DiLonardo, Mary Jo. "What Are Probiotics?" WebMD. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics
- Everson, Kelly. "How Much Weight Can You Gain Due To Water Retention?" Science 2.0. Feb. 10, 2015. (Sept. 25, 2015) http://www.science20.com/everson/blog/how_much_weight_can_you_gain_due_to_water_retention-153063
- Gottfried, Sara. "How To Turn Off Your Weight Gain Hormones." Prevention. May 21, 2015. (Sept. 24, 2015) http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/hormone-reset-diet
- Greenberg, Melanie. "Why We Gain Weight When We're Stressed – And How Not To." Psychology Today. Aug. 28, 2013. (Sept. 26, 2015) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201308/why-we-gain-weight-when-we-re-stressed-and-how-not
- Harvard Health Publications. "Why People Become Overweight." July 9, 2009. (Sept. 27, 2015) http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-people-become-overweight
- Hensrud, Donald. "Is too little sleep a cause of weight gain?" Mayo Clinic. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sleep-and-weight-gain/faq-20058198
- Kalish, Nancy. "7 Ways To Beat Stress Fat." Prevention. June 4, 2014. (Sept. 22, 2015) http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/how-prevent-weight-gain-due-stress-and-anxiety
- Nordqvist, Christian. "What is Cushing's syndrome? What causes Cushing's syndrome?" Medical News Today. Dec. 2, 2009. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172744.php
- Sifferlin, Alexandra. "New Genes IDd in Obesity: How Much of Weight is Genetic?" Time. July 19, 2013. (Sept. 26, 2015) http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/19/news-genes-idd-in-obesity-how-much-of-weight-is-genetic/
- Storrs, Carina. "13 Drugs That Can Make You Gain Weight." Health. (Sept. 25, 2015) http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20545602,00.html
- WebMD. "Menopause, Weight Gain, and Exercise Tips." (Sept. 21, 2015) http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/menopause-weight-gain-and-exercise-tips
- WebMD. "Slideshow: Thyroid Symptoms and Solutions." April 15, 2014. (Sept. 25, 2015) http://www.webmd.com/women/ss/slideshow-thyroid-symptoms-and-solutions
- WebMD. "Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight." May 16, 2014. (Sept. 27, 2015) http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-weight-gain-shockers
- Womens Health. "Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) fact sheet." Dec. 23, 2014. (Sept. 27, 2015) http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html
HowStuffWorks looks at a new study on time-restricted eating and whether it can work long-term.