Obesity Genes Mainly Affect Your Brain

DNA behind appetites, tastes, and how likely we are to feel full: study
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2008 10:33 AM CST
Obesity Genes Mainly Affect Your Brain
Puerto Rican children's fitness expert Jose Ortiz helps train overweight boys on stationary bikes inside the gym he operates in Guaynabo.   (AP Photo)

Overeating is all in your head, but you can blame that on your DNA, the Times of London reports. Of the seven gene variations connected with obesity, five affect the brain’s wiring, suggesting that an inherited tendency toward slimness has more to do with appetite and impulse control than with body processes like fat storage.

There’s an upside to the idea that obesity ultimately starts in the brain: That means behavioral therapies do have a good chance at working, since levels of consumption appear to be more important than metabolism. “In cases like this, the line between nature and nurture begins to blur,” says a scientist who worked on one of the studies. (More obesity stories.)

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