Essay on Can Genes Really Make You Fat?

Essay on Can Genes Really Make You Fat?

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Wurtman’s paper (2011) “can genes really make you fat?” describes the discovery of the FTO gene, which is supposed to be the causative agent of obesity among people. The article goes on to explain that those with the gene, which only adds 1kg (2.2lbs) to your overall weight, are 23% more likely to be obese than those without. Wurtman (2011) feels that if people know they have the FTO gene, then they will be more motivated to exercise and be healthier overall. Although what this paper is suggesting may be true in some cases, overall calculating an individuals Body Mass Index (BMI) is a better determinant of obesity of a subject.
I feel that BMI is a better course of action to determine obesity in individuals rather than the FTO process. For a gene that only adds 1kg cannot determine the percentage of people with obesity within the population. Even companies such as the Heart and Stroke foundation use BMI to determine whether someone suffers from obesity. Now keep in mind obesity and overweight have different meanings, obesity leads to other disease such as cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and stroke, whereas overweight is where you have a few extra pounds on you compared to your height. Daniels (2009) states that calculating BMI is the recommended approach used to determine whether children or adolescence are obese. This being a large concern for Canada, and the world, as obesity rates are rising and it is difficult to believe this because the FTO gene, as described in Wurtman’s paper, is more common and that those individuals are just exercising less.
I feel that it is possible to be obese without this gene. Becoming obese, for the most part, is due to overeating and lack of exercise. BMI is a practical and cheaper way to det...


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...besity. I must disagree with this because of how lazy our society has become. Wurtman (2011) stated that people were becoming more obese and Bar-or (2000) said that it is rising in children too; clearly this is becoming an epidemic. Overall, I feel that people wait until they are already suffering from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, before they get help and at this point, it is to late. I believe that the way to collect data to determine if someone has the FTO gene or not is to invasive, and there are better alternatives. Where I agree with Daniels (2009) that collection of height and weight is much less invasive and it determines a simple number, if within a certain range this will let you know how at-risk you are of obesity. Unlike testing for the gene, it is easier and more adequate to determine your BMI and control your food portions and physical activity.

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