Analysis: Our Heifer Nation

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Sarah Doris English 1020 2 May 2010 Our Heifer Nation Obesity is a complex disease for which no single cause or cure exists. One gains weight when he\she takes in more calories than he\she burns off, but obesity is influenced by environmental factors, such as fast food, and lack of sidewalks, and even media itself; psychological factors, which include depression as well as the; and genetic factors, such the genes that you inherit from your parents; So why is it happening? The obvious, almost trivial answer is that we eat too much high-calorie food and don't burn it off with enough exercise. The rising epidemic reflects the profound changes in society and in behavioral patterns of communities over recent decades. While genes are important…show more content…
While this is laudable it would be unwise to view these environmental factors in isolation from the biological factors that normally control body weight and composition and the compelling evidence that inter-individual differences in susceptibility to obesity have strong genetic determinants. We know that some people are genetically predisposed to risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. These problems do tend to run in families. But so do learned environmental factors like dietary habits and lifestyle choices. Our genetic makeup affects an extensive range of chemical functions in our body and may affect your weight in various ways including your metabolism, hormones and body fat disposition. While there is widespread acceptance that hereditary factors might predispose to human obesity, it is frequently assumed that such factors would influence metabolic rate or the selective partitioning of excess calories into fat. However, it is notable that, thus far, all monogenic defects causing human obesity actually disrupt hypothalamic pathways and have a profound effect on satiety and food intake. To conclude, the evidence we have to date suggests that the major impact of genes on human obesity is just as likely (or perhaps more likely) to directly impact on hunger, satiety and food intake rather than metabolic rate or nutrient partitioning. At the risk of oversimplification, it seems that from an aetiological/genetic standpoint, human obesity appears less a metabolic than a neuro-behavioural disease. But the precise affect of our genes on weight and weigh gain is difficult to determine. For example, our eating habits and lifestyle factors are largely conditioned by family environment. “So even though a child with two overweight parents is estimated to have a 70

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