genes related to obesity may affect how we metabolize food or store fat. They could also affect our behavior, which we tilted toward lifestyle choices that increase our risk of being obese:
* Some genes may control appetite, which makes us less able to sense if we are complete.
* Certain genes may make us more sensitive to the taste, smell or sight of food.
* Some genes may affect our sense of taste, giving us preference for fatty foods, or put us out of healthy foods.
* Certain genes may make us less likely to engage in physical activity.
People with genes related to obesity are not intended to be obese. But they have a higher risk of obesity.
Obesity is increasingly common. For example, the number of obese people in the UK have tripled over the past 25 years. This is due to changes in lifestyle, particularly changes in foods that are available and the amount of physical activity that people take.
Food tastes better, is available in several varieties, and is less expensive, especially processed foods. Portion sizes are getting bigger, usually at an additional cost very little. For convenience, the more people eat packaged foods, fast food and soft drinks, which are often high in calories, fat, salt and sugar. And these types of foods are heavily advertising, especially for children.
How caloric balance is controlled
Our genes and our environment both affect the setting of the thermostat weight "and can cause an imbalance in calories. For example, our genes can affect the amounts and types of food we prefer to eat. And our environment affects the amounts and types of food available to eat.
Thus, most of the time, the weight of our body is controlled by instinctive drives. This is why it is inaccurate to say that obesity is simply due to a lack of will. It's a way too simple to consider a very complex condition. And it may make obese people feel guilty or stigmatized.
We can not change our genetic makeup and it is very difficult to control our environment. But we can learn to control the life choices we make.
Because our calorie balance is controlled by instinctual drives, short term "quick fix" solutions (including most diet programs) eventually fail. Instead, we must make decisions of life in the long term, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity to reduce the risk of being obese.
This will reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and several other major diseases. Even relatively small losses, such as 10% of our total weight, can have positive effects on our health.