I Can’t Believe In The Thrifty Gene

By Laura Moncur @ 8:25 am — Filed under:

I can’t believe in the Thrifty Gene hypothesis. It’s the idea that certain people are predisposed to be fat. It’s the idea that I might eat less than a skinny person and still gain weight. Medical science hasn’t found the thrifty gene yet, but they so believe it to be true that they are scrambling to find it.

I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and healthy eating, but in the end, I have that nagging doubt that the theories could change on a dime. It seems like medical science is never finished figuring out about our bodies and tomorrow they could discover that one simple gene change could make all the difference or they could disprove the idea and throw away everything they have been telling us since I was a kid. There’s no better authority to trust than medical science, but they don’t seem very trustworthy when they can change everything based on a theory.

What’s the point of eating healthy if I have no control?

I can’t believe that it’s all in my genes. I can’t, no matter how much science tells me that genetically some people are more likely to be fat. If I believe it, then I feel like there is no point in my eating healthy and exercising. No matter how much I’m bombarded with the idea, I can’t believe it.

Is that sticking my head in the sand? Maybe. In the end, however, it will be healthier for me to deny belief in the thrifty gene theory because it gives me hope. I don’t want all my hope taken away by medical science. I want to prove them wrong. I want to break free of all the labels that called me fat as a child. I can’t believe in their hypothesis, even if they are able to prove it’s true.


3 Responses to “I Can’t Believe In The Thrifty Gene”

  1. iportion Says:

    people are fat for all kinds of reasons. I do know people who burn less calories than I do and it’s harder for them. Though my dad was overweight genetics had little to do with our weight problems.

  2. Meri Says:

    I have a favourite saying, namely “This is an explanation, not an excuse”.

    I think it might apply particularly well if the “thrifty gene” really does exist. Perhaps it will explain why some of us have a greater tendency to be bulky or to retain fat — but it isn’t an excuse for accepting it and giving up on being healthy, which at the end of the day is a slightly different thing.

    There are plenty of unhealthy thin people around after all 😉

  3. Kery Says:

    I pretty much agree with Meri above. So what if I have a higher tendency to gain weight? It still doesn’t mean free license to plunge my head in the Nutella bowl ‘because it’s all in my genes anyway’. This for sure wouldn’t be healthy at the least!

    Anyway, that evolution hasn’t sprung out of the gene pool in 50 or 100 years only, it takes a lot more than that for human genes to evolve (otherwise, we’d all be fit by now for processed foods and McCrap’s). If our ancestors could deal with it because they were used to periods of food scarcity, then it tells me much already about the problem that is food in our modern age. We very likely need to be aware of that, and go on paying attention to eating healthier foods, rather than mop around moaning about ‘it’s all in my genes’. 🙂

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