Sunday, January 17, 2010

BBC article on the set-point theory of body weight

We talked about this concept a bit last quarter in nutrition class. Since my own body image is reaching an undesirable low point these days, I'm trying to build a little momentum in the direction of exercising, even if that means going back to the dreaded gym. The genetic explanation is somewhat comforting:
One expert, Professor Jane Wardle, believes there could be a genetic answer, through what's known as the FTO gene. Adults who have one variant of this gene weigh on average more than everybody else.

Prof Wardle believes the gene can influence appetite, leading some people to not know when they are full. Those without the gene, she thinks, find it easier to say no to food.
At the same time, I know that personal effort can make a big difference, at least for me. I've gone back and forth from unhealthy lows to unhealthy highs, rarely staying in the middle for very long. And even when I am in the middle, I'm generally moving fairly rapidly toward one dysfunctional pole or the other. I don't want to keep going like this. I'm starting dodgeball at the end of the month, but it's going to take more than that to get my weight under control. I also want to try to find a way to structure my eating -- to budget it -- the way I've done with money. Stay tuned...

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