Slim people have a genetic advantage

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Most scientific studies on body weight focus on overweight or obese subjects, but a recent study did the opposite, it looked into healthy thin people trying to understand the mechanisms that make them thin and keep them that way.

It is well known that genetic factors account for roughly 40 to 70% of body weight variations. This study ratifies that thinness is as inheritable as obesity.

Slimness is, in part, the result of genetics

Slimmness is in your genes.

The study, published on January 24, confirmed that being thin, just like being fat, is due to the genes you inherited from your parents.

So slimness, just like obesity, is a matter of chance, and is strongly influenced by the mix of genes that you received from your mother and father.

Obesity, which has been studied in more detail can be caused by over 250 common yet low-frequency genetic loci.

Thinness, as defined by the World Health Organization, encompasses individuals whose body mass index or BMI is equal or lower than 18 kg⁄m2.

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This study took a group of some 1,600 thin yet healthy individuals and compared their genetic makeup with another group, of 2,000 severly obese subjects.

The comparison showed that:

  • Obese people had a higher chance of having genes linked to being overweight.
  • Thin people had less genes linked to obestity and therefore a lower risk of gaining weight.
  • "Skinny" individuals and obese people share a number of genetic risk loci but the slim people had genetic changes in some genes linked to obesity.

Food for thought

If you are slim, try to be should be less critical and judgmental about overweight people, you were lucky to inherit the "good" combination of genes, while they got the "bad" combo.

If you are overweiht, don't despair, you can take action and work on your body weight: exercise and a balaced low calorie diet can help you lose weight and maintain it. You are not predestined to being overweight.

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Cite this article:

. ©2019. Thinness is something that you inherit. Patagonia Wellness, 28 Jan. 2019.

Tags: thinness, genes, inheritance, slim, thin, obesity, overweight, genetic

Subject: News Article: Being slim is, like being obese, strongly conditioned by genetics: a recent study has confirmed that thinness is inherited and influenced by the genes that you received from your parents.


Reference and Further Reading

(1) Riveros-McKay F, Mistry V, Bounds R, Hendricks A, Keogh JM, Thomas H, et al. (2019). Genetic architecture of human thinness compared to severe obesity. PLoS Genet 15(1): e1007603.