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Does Healthy Living Overcome Fat Genes?

Hi All,

Like many people, bad genes run in the family for many diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as well as a tendency to be overweight.  I can definitely relate!  It's because of this family history that I am so vigilant about healthy eating and healthy living, and why I wrote my book Have Your Cheeseburger And Keep Your Health Too! to help others who struggle with these health issues in themselves or their families.

This past weekend I had a chance to catch up on some of my health-oriented magazine subscription reading as I tried to beat the Las Vegas heat, and I found a tidbit in Women's Health (the companion publication to Men's Health that I get my husband) that was quite interesting on the whole "are you destined to be overweight if it runs in your family" issue?

The news was quite encouraging as the Women's Health piece referenced a study in the International Jourbal Of Obesity that looked at twins.  One twin was, in effect, labeled the "gym rat" and worked out regularly, and the other twin was, in effect, the "lazy twin".  After 30 years, the scientists compared "gym rat" twin and "lazy twin" and found that "gym rat" twin had gained nearly 12 pounds less and had a waist that was over 3 inches smaller than "lazy twin".

That's a big difference from a health and appearance standpoint, and goes to show you that there is evidence that you are not destined to be fat just because it runs in your family.  Social conditioning--copying your parents or siblings bad health habits like being a couch potato, overeating or eating unhealthy foods is likely more the issue than your "fat" genes.

I am the leanest one in my family (although I have to work very hard at it) while others are not, and my husband and his sister are thin while others in their family are not.  A little anecdotal proof right there!

So don't blame your weight and your health on destiny, because you are more in control of being fit or fat than you might otherwise think!  And if you haven't been into healthy eating or healthy living, today's a good day to turn it all around!

Melanie small version for web--Melanie R. Jordan, Author of Have Your Cheeseburger And Keep Your Health Too!  Available 24/7 at

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