Genetic Causes of Obesity - Obesity Surgery Guide

Genetics can also contribute towards obesity.  Scientists believe that our genes control the number of chemicals which determine our metabolic rate.  These and hormones also influence our ‘appetite-control' centre.  They control the balance between appetite and hunger and are also responsible for ‘energy balance' – the relationship between calories in and calories out.     

There are genes that control eye colour, skin colour, facial characteristics and even personality and behaviour.  Plus there are genes responsible for a range of hereditary diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis or Down's syndrome. 

Some diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and asthma can be genetically related. 

Scientists have very recently discovered six genes which are responsible for obesity.  These genes, five of which are present in the brain, can affect appetite regulation rather than metabolism or energy expenditure.

What can happen is that signals from the brain which trigger the desire to eat may not be overridden.  In other words, the impulse to carry on eating is not suppressed which can lead to overeating.  And this overeating can lead to excess weight gain.

The result is that some babies may be born with an in-built disposition to overeat unless some way is found of switching off this gene.

It is important to note that obesity itself is not inherited rather it is the predisposition towards it that is.  It is not like eye colour which is fixed: the tendency towards obesity can be changed.

Scientists estimate that up to 60% of the population carry the obesity gene ‘FTO' and that in fact, there are many more still to be discovered.

Related Articles about the Causes of Obesity

  1. Bacterial causes of obesity
  2. Colds and Viruses as a cause of obesity
  3. Obesity during diet and pregnancy
  4. Genetic causes of obesity
  5. Inherited causes of obesity
  6. Hormones and obesity
  7. Lifestyle factors that influence obesity
  8. Medication side effects as a cause of obesity
  9. Metabolic Syndrome and obesity
  10. Metabolism and obesity
  11. Sleep deprivation and obesity