Picture the scene. I am laid sunbathing in the Algarve sunshine with my baby daughter Sofia fast asleep on my chest. She has worn herself out watching her brother and daddy building sandcastles and needs a good rest.
Out of nowhere I see a family struggling with all their beach gear as they battle against the sand with the huge amount of weight they are carrying. Mum must be 25 stone, dad must be not short of 30 stone and their two sons look like they weigh 15 stone each but don’t look like they are older than 15.
Looking at them (sorry staring) you would be led to believe that they must be following a very poor diet. You would wonder if there was any food left at the local buffet if they were guests or whether or not they eat out of their fat fryer everyday.
This probably sounds really mean because I used to be obese once too and Dominic stills falls under that category. But it’s because we have been there and as they say “worn the t-shirt” that we appreciate what has to be eaten to become that size.
We used to binge our way through several takeaways a week, eat too much pizza, use our fat fryer at least twice a week and didn’t understand what fresh fruit and vegetables meant in our diet.
The end result was that we were 12 stone overweight between us. But we were not in the league of this family and I just worried about the health risks that they were facing and how bad a day at the beach would actually be.
But we know the reason for our weight gain was down to one thing…..LIFESTYLE. We chose to eat a load of rubbish. We chose not to eat healthy and we also chose not to exercise.
If you eat a load of rubbish you’ll be fat (unless you are one of those evil people with a mega metabolism) and the same goes for if you feed it all to your kids. But our son is skinny mainly because while we were eating rubbish he wasn’t and we always put him first. We also knew that with him charging around in the school playground he would never end up fat like us.
But the majority of the time when you see a fat kid, you are likely to meet a fat parent too. You are always likely to put this down to them having the same lifestyle but what if it is something else?
The obesity gene has been talked about a lot over the years, especially in magazines as the reason why a family is fat. Many people have put it down to wishful thinking and not bad parenting and as such a lot of people don’t believe it actually exists.
But there are genetic variants that can increase your risk of obesity and you can now get a genetic test for one just like you could for other genetic problems.
Take cancer as an example – A mum has died of breast cancer, and then two of her sisters have the same fate. Then the doctor would test all the immediate girls in the family to see if they have the cancer gene. It would usually involve the remaining sisters, female cousins, aunts and all of their daughters.
Then if there is any that are carrying the gene they can then have a mastectomy and have regular checkups to make sure that they are clear. That way they are helping themselves to prevent a tragedy.
Just because we are talking about fat vs thin doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take precautions too. It’s our health – we could easily be preventing that fat day at the beach, getting diabetes and all sorts of other problems.
From my own family I have the following fat members…..
My dad is overweight and has had the same fat tummy for about 20 years now. I put it down to him eating too much fatty foods and drinking too much beer. He has no health problems because of his weight and giving up the beer would fix him!
My mum is of average weight and has a perfectly normal BMI.
It is only American family members that have a weight problem and fall under the obese category and I have always put that down to the lifestyle that many lead over there – but with it just being mother and son it could be genetic. Especially because the father and daughter are super skinny and follow the same diet!
It does really have you thinking about it though and how for family and their weights come together.
Here are some other reasons to get tested:
- If you have an obesity gene you can follow a balanced diet to try and stop it becoming a problem
- You may just react badly to a certain type of food. This can be rather shocking to some people. That a simple change in diet that’s lower in fat could solve the problem.
- You could have been dieting for years and already be obese. But the type of food you are eating is what’s causing your body to misbehave.
- You can find out what you do need in your body. If you are following a low carb diet, you might find that you need an exact amount of protein per day to solve your obesity problem.
- You can see how much physical activity you need. Some of us exercise too much; others don’t exercise enough or don’t do the right type of exercise for our bodies. With this you can find out what you need and rectify it.
This blog post is sponsored by My Inner Go.
MyInnerGo.co.uk offers a fantastic genetic test to see if you are carrying the obesity gene and how at risk you are of becoming obese. It will also give you the chance to act accordingly if you do have a positive test result.
I would love to do a test myself at some point as it would be interesting to see if there is anything in my own genes that have caused some of my weight gain. Rather than just my love for a McDonalds!