Obesity and our Genes

9
Jul

Today a new study came out linking obesity to our genes http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/644136.html. It’s interesting findings and may contribute to the explosion of obesity we are seeing in the US and now world wide. But it’s hard to see how 2% of people with all these genetic mutation can cause two thirds of the country to be overweight. There is a lot of personal choice that goes into our weight: how much we exercise, what types of food we eat, how much food we eat and getting enough sleep. Recently, Duke university researchers analyzed information from the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the US National Health and Wellness Survey of 2008. Their findings: obesity costs per person were $16,900 for women and $15,500 per year for obese men. Obesity cost the United States most of the $73 Billion lost in productivity on the job. There is a lot to be learned from this. Employers can and should add weight management to their businesses. Better food choices; more health education for workers; opportunities to walk and exercise. The same is true for schools. Throw out the “white” foods and replace them with “brown” foods like brown rice and whole wheat bread. Explain to people it’s not about looks, it’s about health. There may be some genes involved in obesity. But it’s what’s in the ‘jeans’ that has to change.

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