Gene Eating: The Science of Obesity and the Truth about Diets

It's really all about the science of why some of us do, and some of us don't gain weight. This 'anti- diet' diet book by a geneticist shows how obesity is complicated. While our environment has changed, our genes have not. 

Gene Eating Author - Dr Giles Yeo

Dr. Giles Yeo is a Cambridge University based geneticist researching obesity and what drives food intake. He is often to be found on television and social media presenting on health, diet and the science (or otherwise) behind our weight.

Review by Jeryl Scurr

The European Agency for the Study of Obesity reports that 85% of obesity has a genetic link.

This practical (and pragmatic) book helps us to understand how genetics hold the gun, but it is our built environment, business interests, mental health and social and economic inequalities which pull the trigger on levels of obesity.

With so many struggling against their biology Dr. Yeo tells us that he (and others) are trying to understand the biology underlying our collective weight gain, “because if we don’t understand the problem we can’t fix it”.

Dr. Yeo writes in a breezy manner which carries its expertise lightly. Gene Eating helps put the ‘obesity epidemic’ in perspective, explains clearly why all calories are not equal, and uses evidence to debunk what he labels the ‘pseudo-science’ of diet and nutrition fads.

He also shows that due to your unique biology, a certain diet will never, ever work for you. His argument over the efficacy of DNA testing as weight loss aid may save you some money as well…

Genetics role in our ability to gain, maintain and lose weight is based on science, not wishful thinking. His reminds us of the difficulty in maintaining a ‘normal’ weight – there is a reason why it can be a relentless and fruitless quest for so many.

Quotations

“I would argue that to be overweight in our current environment is indeed the natural, evolved, response.”

“Genes function within our brain. Obesity is, in fact, ‘all in the head’.”

“For many people, too many, diets have become tribal, almost religious.”

Why I chose Gene Eating

Do you want to know why it is so difficult to maintain weight, let alone lose it? Why you should stop blaming only your lack of will-power?

Dr. Yeo is not saying that obesity isn’t a health problem, and that we can blame our jean size on our genes. What he does is demonstrate how our genes influence our fat distribution and overall body size, as well as dictate our appetite and food choices.

Be more compassionate to each other (and ourselves) and remember: –

“…genes are like a hand of poker…so it depends on how you play the cards…”

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