New research led by the University of Colorado Boulder is the first to show that people inherit genes that make them “feel” overweight, too skinny, or just perfect. And the feeling is stronger for women, according to the study.
The research, published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine, measured how genes versus the environment contribute to the way people feel about their weight. A score of zero indicated that genetics are not a contributing factor at all, while a score of one indicated genetics were the only contributing factor.
The study showed that perceived weight status was 0.47 inherited, said CU Boulder doctoral student Robbee Wedow, lead study author. It’s the “first evidence that weight identity may have genetic underpinnings,” he said.
The researchers studied 700 twin pairs in their database, including many with identical genes.
Each person’s body mass index — or height-to-weight ratio — was calculated. Then they were asked if they felt overweight, underweight or “about the right weight.”
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