Why Both Genetics and Lifestyle Matter in the Obesity Epidemic

A great read here by Michael White on the interplay between genetics and environment with regards to weight and obesity. 

Who is he? “Michael White is a systems biologist at the Department of Genetics and the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he studies how DNA encodes information for gene regulation”. 

Here is a little piece from the article: “Without question, our genes play a big role in making us who we are. But in the renaissance of genetic research, it’s easy to forget that genes don’t act in isolation—they act on the stage set by our environment.

Even in the earliest days of genetics, scientists understood that the environment often has a strong influence on how genes manifest themselves. They recognized that intrinsic physical differences between individuals aren’t necessarily a reflection of genetic differences. “Every student of genetics ought to know this," wrote Wilhelm Johannsen, coiner of the term “gene,” in 1911. He went on to provide some well-known agricultural examples: “Temperature has great influence upon the intensity of color in flowers…. Pure lines of beans may in one year be different in size…. Some strains of wheat yield relatively much better than others on rich soil, while the reverse is realized on poorer soils.” 

Click here for the article in full

Posted: Monday 9 March 2015