Last Updated on August 26, 2020
Do skinny genes really exist, or are they a myth?
I think skinny genes exist, and so do scientists.
There have been many studies on the genetics of weight conducted over the years.
If we go back decades, there was a professor at Arizona State University who was studying genetics using Drosophila (fruit flies). This scientist found that some fruit flies were fat and some were quite lean. The fat fruit flies had a significant advantage because their extra weight could carry them through tough times. The same can be said for polar bears – they need a lot of fat to survive difficult circumstances. However, that’s not what humans living in New York City or L.A. need.
The gene that resulted in bigger fruit flies was named “adipose.” This gene has been studied in mice and rats as well. It turns out if the activity of the adipose gene is upregulated, mice live longer and burn fat faster.
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In another study of close to 100,000 people, it was discovered that about 1/2000 people have a variation on chromosome 16. There is a small patch of information on this chromosome that isn’t present in the other 1999/2000 people.
This extra genetic code resulted in a lower than average appetite. These people ended up very lean and sometimes underweight to the point of concern.
You probably know a lady or a guy that can eat whatever they want, and they just don’t put on weight. That could be part of this chromosomal aberration that we’re talking about here.
In some people, it’s dangerous because no matter what they eat, they can’t gain any weight. It’s just as awful being in that situation as it is being 300 or 400 pounds.
In my opinion, genetics also influences personality. In turn, the personality will also naturally drive up or down the endocrine system. Hypothalamic, pituitary, and thyroid activity could all be a bit higher or a bit lower depending on genetics. The hormonal activity can then influence weight.
Remember, it’s not just about genetics. Your weight also reflects the food you eat, how much you move, and your lifestyle.