Are My Genes Making Me Fat?

Blog, Weight Loss Tips
  • By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN on
  • October 24th, 2012

A newly discovered gene, CRTC3, has emerged and shown that people may have a genetic disposition to gaining fat by accumulating fat cells in the body. The gene is found more often in Mexican Americans and can slow down the rate in which fat cells actually burn fat. Currently, researchers have stated that the gene affects about 27% of the population in the United States.1 In addition, people that have a mutated form of the gene may actually have a higher rate of obesity due to a greater inability to use insulin effectively, which can also result in increased weight due to blood sugar imbalance.1

With the evolution of science and our discoveries of new genes, viruses, and diseases, it is important to continue to understand why some people may have greater challenges with weight than others. However, with all this said about science and predispositions, people still need to take responsibility by eating mindfully, eating the right portions for you, and eating the right food combinations at the right time.

I counsel people with genetic predispositions which can result in weight gain, such as those that have polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. Females with PCOS have a greater challenge with their insulin production, which results in inadequate glucose absorption and thus can result in weight gain. However, through diet and exercise, these women can achieve normal weight goals and maintain their health. Click on this link for more information regarding PCOS.

Therefore, with the oncoming information regarding certain genes or predispositions to a disorder, I do agree that it is important to take note of the situation. I also recommend taking action regarding a predisposition, so if we are aware that we may have a predisposition to something, such as potentially having an addictive personality or being prone to depression due to our genetics, we need to take action!

Don’t let these genes or genetic dispositions be excuses as to why one cannot achieve a goal!

Not everyone is created equal or born into luxury. Those of us that are not, yes: we do have to work a little harder to reach our goals. But we can reach them. Once we know about these dispositions, with all the new technology and information available, we can also learn how to use this to our advantage by knowing what we need to do to succeed.

Don’t let your genes get in your way. Take what you know and use it to your advantage by continuing to grow and reach those goals. And when we recognize a predisposition that may affect our weight or nutritional health, contact a registered dietitian to help you with a plan for your weight success.

By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN

1. Song, Y., Altarejos, J., Goodarzi, M., Inoue, H., Guo, X., Berdeaux, R., et al. (December 2010). CRTC3 links catecholamine signalling to energy balance. Nature. 468, pg. 933-939.

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