Is it greed or is it genetics? Why are you fat?

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Replies

  • magerum
    magerum Posts: 12,590 Member
    Overeating.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
    Overeating. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics. When there are families that are all overweight, it's due to lifestyle, not genetics.
  • Kittiegirl06
    Kittiegirl06 Posts: 12 Member
    I believe I gained weight due to lifestyle changes.
    I use to be thin. Then when I was room and boarding with someone, I couldn't keep food in the house. I was also stressed. My living situation made me decide to stop buying most food. I started eating only once a day. I became severely anemic during that time (iron and b12 deficiency).

    Then I finally moved out. I started eating normally again, and the weight piled on. Then I also had surgery, and then recovered from anemia, but still had all the extra weight.

    That all happened in 2009-2010. I just never focused on weight loss until this year.
  • Qski
    Qski Posts: 246 Member
    I don't think genetics has anything to do with it or if it does it is such a small factor in weight gain or such a small percentage of the population where it's a large amount weight, that it shouldn't be considered
    A lot of people in my family are overweight, but it's definitely not related to our genes, it is what and how we eat and who we learn our behaviours from, so it may be inherited but not by DNA.

    I too am an emotional eater (for any emotion unfortunately) and that coping strategy also comes from (as most coping strategies do) from early childhood. I had the added issue of learning a lot of maladaptive coping strategies and for a long time, eating for comfort was the least damaging path to take.

    Someone Posted this recently by Kernel Mag - I am not convinced that they aren't just journalistic trolls, but it is an interesting read - You Eat too Much
    http://www.kernelmag.com/features/report/6051/you-eat-too-much/

    Then on the flip side there is this from one of the lesser 'controlled' media points in Australia
    The overweight live longer
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2012/11/09/obesity-paradox-studies-find-overweight-live-longer

    Also Kernel Mag's opinion on the matter aside I think that the media portrayal of what we should look like does play a big part in it. There are a lot of studies that show that if you never start a diet (attempt to lose weight) --> you never need to (ie you will just stay the same weight). My first diet was when my mum dragged me as a 14 year old (at my current height 5ft2 weighing 47kg (103lbs)??!!! to weigh less - I wore a size B bra and had hips and that was so fat for a 14yr old?! - Not to mention that she was 5ft8 and weighed 54kg(118lbs)??!!! - My dad called her "fats". Both of us have been dieting ever since and pretty much never weighed again what we did when we started.

    So I think far to many young girls, mothers and I know many men and boys attempt to lose weight when they don't need too, and because mostly the loudest diets out there then and now are total rubbish fads, get into a cycle we never get out of.

    I won't even start on the whole Religion thing... I was brought up as a Muslim and Ramadaan (one month of fasting entire days(no water) - [as a child playing sport] ?! but having breakfast and dinner before sunrise and after sunset followed by days of feasting?!) I am no longer religious - but that certainly did not teach me anything healthy about my relationship with food.

    edited - long post. = lots of errors
  • xmysterix
    xmysterix Posts: 114 Member
    Genetics is a significant player in my family, or so says my genetics professor uncle. Every female member of the family (and we all strongly favor one line in looks/stature), regardless of dieting history or current weight, has experienced major digestive system and weight-related hormonal disorders. Learned bad habits from my mom are another big problem (fad dieting, inconsistent/negligible exercise, body shaming). My eating has never been that crazy but my activity level has been so low since I quit school sports (way back when) that my relatively good diet means next to nothing. I get thin insanely quickly when I lack a car and live in a pedestrian friendly area. I gain when I drive and live in a car-focused place. So, genes, habits, laziness, circumstance. Lethal combo. Can't change my genes, so I'm trying to unlearn the bad habits, be more generally active, and we have plans to move to one of several very pedestrian-friendly, active, fit cities...not for that reason but it's a factor.
  • GadgetGuy2
    GadgetGuy2 Posts: 300 Member
    It's both.

    Eating (or breathing for that matter) are behaviors. We choose to eat. We choose to breath (the conscious act).

    As an MFP user, I have learned to control what and how much I eat so as not to gain my weight back. As a FreeDiver (SCUBA diving without a tank), I have learned to hold my breath much longer than the average person.

    However, I can not keep myself from eating when the hunger pains are great, and I can not keep from taking a breath when my blood oxygen drops too low.

    We are pre-programmed (call it instinct, call it genetics, call it bacon, what ever, it is real) to want to eat and breath as evidenced by hunger pains and that tightness in your chest when you hold your breath.

    So...as a behavior, we should be able to control eating and breathing. But since it is also instinctual (i.e. genetics), it may not be as controllable as those "personal responsibility types who've never studied chemistry and genetics would have you believe. Google the sport gene. It is a genetic condition where the person with the gene has 2 to 3 times more red blood cells in the blood, and can thus endure exertion for greater periods of time (e.g. marathon endurance) than those without the sport gene version of the DNA)

    But individuals who can NOT keep from eating until they pass out for lack of calories are unable to override the pre-programming. Likewise, very few people (ok maybe a few problem kids) can hold their breaths until they turn blue in the face and pass out for lack of oxygen. These are examples of where humans are not able to control their pre-programmed behavior.

    IMHO.....these behaviors are both instinctual (genetic) and learned. Some folks find it harder to resist the hunger pains. Some folks have to take a breath way sooner than I do. Learned? Inherited (what is instinct, if it is not inherited via genetics?)?

    So now my simple answer to the simple question: It's both greed (I interpret this to mean conscious behavior) and genetics.
  • silken555
    silken555 Posts: 477 Member
    It has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with conditioning.

    We're taught how to eat by our parents. If they consistently overeat then the chances are higher that we will also be taught to overeat.

    An example for you...one of my friends was considerably overweight as are her parents. She'd eat junkfood like it was going out of style and she hates most veg & fruit.

    Her two year old was with us to celebrate another friend's birthday. The child was acting up and so she reached for some food to calm her. A small bowl of chips was sitting next to a HUGE fruit bouquet. Guess what she gave her kid. Until she realized what she was doing to both herself and her kid, her kid was on her way to being fat before she was out of toddlerhood. Thankfully she did turn it around and now her kids eat healthy snacks and are both normal weight.
  • 33Freya
    33Freya Posts: 468 Member
    I don't like the title of your post. The words "greed" and "fat" are quite negative.

    For me it's neither. It could be both. I come from a family of big people who overeat and don't exercise. Sometimes that cake was so good, I want another piece. Call that greed if you want, but I don't think of it that way while I'm looking at the cake :tongue:

    Mostly, my overweight-ness is me not paying attention to what I'm eating (or keeping track) and procrastinating on exercise. You could call it ignorance and procrastination, with a little bit of "greed" and genetics thrown in.

    We are responsible for our actions, including what we eat and do (shrug). All people are different and the level of work it takes to become or stay fit varies with the colors of the rainbow. :wink:
  • GadgetGuy2
    GadgetGuy2 Posts: 300 Member
    It has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with conditioning.

    We're taught how to eat by our parents. If they consistently overeat then the chances are higher that we will also be taught to overeat.

    An example for you...one of my friends was considerably overweight as are her parents. She'd eat junkfood like it was going out of style and she hates most veg & fruit.

    Her two year old was with us to celebrate another friend's birthday. The child was acting up and so she reached for some food to calm her. A small bowl of chips was sitting next to a HUGE fruit bouquet. Guess what she gave her kid. Until she realized what she was doing to both herself and her kid, her kid was on her way to being fat before she was out of toddlerhood. Thankfully she did turn it around and now her kids eat healthy snacks and are both normal weight.

    So do you believe that hunger pains are the result of learned behavior (i.e. conditioning)?
  • lcfairbairn74
    lcfairbairn74 Posts: 412 Member
    Although there are genes that determine, for example, our predisposition to preferring high fat food, I don't believe they can really be blamed for people being overweight. Families of overweight individuals pass down their predisposition to poor choices as an environmental factor, rather than a genetic one, in the vast majority of cases. Even if you inherit these genes, you can override them by making sensible choices.

    Personally, I put on weight due to a variety of health issues, medications, and poor choices. Eating too much for my reduced activity level (due to the health issues) being the major issue!
  • I'm greedy but I'm sure the problem is bad habits which I picked up from a young age. Both of my parents were really fat when I was young and we just ate and ate and ate. On reflection, I know that it was bad and I am sort of shocked that it was allowed and encouraged but for me, it's the norm now and difficult to move away from especially as I have an emotional relationship with food and turn to it immediately in times of strife.
  • Saying people are fat because of greed it the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I don't think it is all genetics either. I think there are a lot reasons and anyone who tries to put it into two categories is like saying all fish are perch.
  • I've been fat all my life because of genetics and my household environment.

    However, I'm STILL fat because sometimes eating is the only thing I find fun, and I can't keep weight off once I lose it because I have no self control. :frown:
  • ShapenerFiterrati
    ShapenerFiterrati Posts: 111 Member
    Mainly me being lazy and eating too much... but my mom is overweight (majorly) and so I have the genetics from both sides too ....
  • Genetics.

    All of my family is very over weight and I started out overweight as a child. By 13, I was 240lbs! I tried starving myself to stop it but it kept rising.. At 15, I was 270lbs! Due to intense pain in my abdomen, they finally found out I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome.) I was put on medication and dropped to 220lbs by 17. Through diet, exercise, and some slim fast thrown in, I was able to get to 195lbs at 19. My all time low weight.

    I got pregnant at 19, 195lbs, my low weight, and gained 80lbs! 30lbs of that within the first month of being off the birth control pill. I know a good portion of the other 50 I gained was because of my eating habits. Everyone was encouraging me to eat! I gave into all my cravings.. Mac and cheese, chocolate, and mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit from KFC. I was eating a lot of peanut butter with milk too.

    I was 270lbs when I had her (at 31 weeks) and it took almost 2 years to get down to 255lbs afterwards. I was doing a 1500 calorie diet and walking 2 - 5 miles a day. The next year, we decided to try for another baby.. I was off the pill for 6 months and I gained up to 310lbs. I had even started working out at a gym with a "trainer" looking after me and the scales were still going up. I would loose a little and gain it all back whenever I got my period. I'm not talking water weight. It was fat. I had to work it off again only for it to be undone by my next period.

    Last month, I went to a new gyno and she told me to skip my period. Just to take my active pills and not worry about it. (I was having BAD symptoms whenever it was time for my cycle.) Anyways, since then, I've gone from 310lbs to 298lbs as of today. I'm so happy. I've never had a problem working out or eating healthy.. My body was just not reflecting it.

    I have hope now. :)
  • ktpod1
    ktpod1 Posts: 83 Member
    Looking at my siblings we are all overweight. Is this genetic? No. We were thin growing up..how was that possible...because WE MOVED! We were active. We always had abundance of good food but my mom kicked outside to play and play we did from morning to night. As an adult I becsme lazy...I got a desk job...and the movement ceased. Now I am working on reversing that trend and trying to get MOVING . Currently fitbit is the push I needed. MFP is the support I crave. Good luck everyone!:happy:
  • Cindyinpg
    Cindyinpg Posts: 3,902 Member
    Overeating, definitely. No other reason.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Overeating. Whether it's because my genetics make me want to eat more or not though, I have no idea. So I'd say that obviously we're fat because we eat too much, but who knows what makes us love food more than other people.
  • bernied262
    bernied262 Posts: 882 Member
    For me, it wasn't either. Family genetics are pretty good, mum has always been slim (she was a model), dad is showing a bit of extra weight now though.

    I wasn't greedy either, i just ate a lot during a really stressful time in my life, my eating pattern was erratic and i made bad choices. Now, when i find myself in stressful times, I don't turn to food, i just up the exercise :)
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,039 Member
    Genetics is a minor factor. Yes there are some that have strong hormonal issues, but for the general public, that's not the reason they get obese.
    It comes down to the lifestyle they learned about eating. Have a family that eats huge portions or very calorie dense foods, practically everyone is going to be big. Vice versa for lean families.

    So it's not likely that genetics are the problem.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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