Magazine article USA TODAY

There's More to Obesity Than Overeating. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

There's More to Obesity Than Overeating. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

It is generally thought that, if you are overweight, you simply are taking in more calories than you burn off. Eating less and exercising more will certainly eliminate those extra pounds, people believe. While it is true that diet and activity ultimately determine your weight, the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource reports that there are genetic, social, behavioral, cultural, and metabolic factors that influence the numbers you see on your scale as well.

A family history of obesity increases your chances of being overweight by 30%. For many people, this is the result of familial eating and exercise patterns. For others, though, there may be a genetic link to obesity. Researchers have learned that some genes play a part in determining how susceptible a person is to weight gain. One gene in particular, the leptin gene, may be mutated in some people and may increase the likelihood of obesity. More study is needed to understand leptin's relationship to obesity. It is important to remember that a genetic disposition toward obesity doesn't mean you are destined to be overweight. …

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