Genetically Identical Mice.
I believe in bigfoot, fairies, and the fat gene. (No. I don’t.) (Well, fairies, maybe a little bit. And I haven’t ruled out bigfoot completely.)
Agouti mutant mice are supposed to have the “fat gene” – that is, when fed a regular lab (or processed food) mouse diet, they usually overeat and become rather fattish.
(Just like human beings when we eat processed foods. That fat explosion in the U.S. after World War Two? It happened to coincide with a processed food explosion. Not a coincidence.)
Feed the parents of so-called “fat-gene” mice a few important nutrients – which doesn’t change their genes, by the way – and their offspring don’t get fat.
What made the difference? Nutrients. Food. What they ate.
You, as a human being, have control over your environment, including the food that you eat.
Genes, on the other hand, don’t have any control whatsoever over your environment, over your mind, or over you.
Genes are blueprints for protein synthesis inside of your cells, not fat synthesis outside of them.
Genes, in themselves, do nothing except provide templates for the proteins that make you up and that move in response to what you experience, think, and then tell your cells to do. That is all.
Let me repeat that. The scientific truth, important to know yet little acknowledged, is that your mind tells your cells (the genes, proteins, and organelles inside of them) what to do. Your cells don’t tell your mind what to do.
In other words, you are not a slave to your genes. Your genes are a slave to you.
Genes are not selfish, and they don’t make you fat. There is no gene that makes you fat.
The proteins inside of your cells eventually break down. When a protein is needed to perCellular motion is life. Genes are not life. Genes are blueprints for proteins. Proteins, what you are made of, move in response to perceptions followed by decisions. That is what life is.
form an action inside your cells and it is missing, RNA interacts with DNA in order to make more proteins. Chromosomes are unzipped, genes are copied, and the proteins that the cells need to move are synthesized.
Genes don’t think. They don’t feel. They don’t speak to you. And they don’t create chemicals that make you eat more than you should. Your mind makes you eat more than you should. Nothing else.
Not only is your diet a part of your environment, so is everything else that you experience.
That includes where you are and what you do (over which, as a human being, you have at least some control), and your reactions, thoughts, and emotions (over which you have complete control).
This “fat gene” business got started when researchers noticed that some populations of human beings in certain environments (such as Eskimos in the Arctic) tend to be obese generation after generation. Given the widespread undue influence of the philosophy of materialism on science, including the biological sciences, and rampant wrong conclusions from both Mendel’s and Darwin’s observations, researchers’ first thoughts were, “Ah, ha! These people must have a ‘fat’ gene!”
That idea – a guess, a hypothesis – stuck. Well, Eskimos didn’t, and don’t have a fat gene. Transfer a bunch of Eskimos to Portland, Oregon, allow them to go off of whale and eat the local food, or a more balanced diet, and even if they continue to “interbreed” only with each other, within one or two generations their offspring stop looking like Eskimos and start looking like people from Portland, Oregon.
What Eskimos had was a long-term history, generation after generation, of eating only whale (and probably some seal and bear and so forth when they could get it – whatever they could hunt in their environment).
That is, Eskimos ate mostly fat and protein. They didn’t farm; they couldn’t forage; they had access to few, if any, carbohydrates or sugars.
For human beings, that is an unbalanced diet. When forced to eat an unbalanced diet, one without all of the nutrients that the body needs to thrive, grow, and stay healthy, the body will stay hungry, seeking those nutrients. And it will get fat.
Now, getting fat, for Eskimos, wasn’t all bad. Fat insulates. It is cold in the Arctic. Being fat, in itself, isn’t always so unhealthy, especially if it provides other benefits.
But what about populations of “fat” people from warmer environments? There are tropics-based populations of usually obese people, too.
Same situation in each case. Incomplete, or just plain bad, nutrition, causing overeating. Not “fat” genes.
If you are struggling to lose weight, don’t despair. You have more control over your weight than you realize.
Dieting isn’t the answer and in fact will lead to greater weight gain, precisely because most diets are not balanced. But more importantly, most importantly, diets impose too much hunger, which sets in motion the body’s defenses against starvation (death) – forcing you to pile on the pounds! It happens every time, doesn’t it? There’s no escaping it.
The causes of obesity are insidious and rarely understood – but they can be found out, and they can be overcome.
Smarter eating is the answer. Adding missing nutrients and eliminating the hunger inducing additives that are prevalent in processed foods – in other words, changing a few of your shopping, cooking, and eating habits. Not starving.
Not drastically cutting calories – which is counterproductive to weight loss.
Everyone knows that, and yet everyone keeps going on diets. And gaining more weight.
Most people don’t know how to lose weight. Government diet recommendations aren’t much help, because what the government recommends may be based on bad science, or might not be right for you as an individual. Food science, like most science, is subject to fallacy and misconception. (Remember when the government told us not to eat salmon, or nuts, or cheese, or eggs? All wrong.)
Most personal dieting advice, even that published in newspapers and books, is usually emotional, biased, and faddish – not even close to being scientifically based.
Even today dieting gurus still might insist that you eat little to no dairy (the worst advice ever, as every cell in your body needs calcium to operate – not enough calcium in your diet and you’ll gain weight), or carbohydrates, or meat, or fat. Each of these sources of necessary nutrients have been considered, even scientifically, to be “bad” for you, based on the wrong premises.
Empiricism – experience – is the only answer.
Start here. More later.
Overweight? Maybe You Really Can Blame Your Genes
Gina Kolata, The New York Times, July 18, 2013
- No, you can’t.
Scientists Find How ‘Obesity Gene’ Makes People Fat
Ben Hirschler, Reuters, July 15, 2013
- No, they don’t. They don’t have a clue. They’re guessing based on observations, and the guesses are wrong. Such is most medical “science”, the majority of which is disproved eventually. That’s a literal statistic, not an exaggeration – and why you should question everything your doctor tells you. It may save your life.
New Genes IDd in Obesity: How Much of Weight is Genetic?
Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, July 19, 2013
- Virtually none.
Related Posts – Food:
Eat Calcium and Grow Rich
November 30, 2013
No. Do Not Fast. No!
March 28, 2013
Put Down That Diet Soda and Back Away
May 27, 2012
Hershey’s “Cookies ‘n’ Mint” and Me
July 23, 2011
Kids Need The Choice Of Chocolate Milk
June 18, 2011
America’s Processed Foods, America’s Obesity Problem
February 5, 2011
Related Posts – Genetics:
Infinities of Monkeys
February 12, 2013
David Barash and the “Myth” Of Monogamy
January 10, 2012
Do trendy ‘cleanses’ help or harm the body?
Lisa Flam, Today Show – Health, July 1, 2013
Again, listen to the nutritionists, not the dieting “enthusiasts” – nutritionists spend their careers figuring out what healthy eating really is, dieting enthusiasts, of any stripe, merely have expectations and beliefs that usually are not only very unscientific but, if followed, can do actual harm to the body.
Why The Atlantic’s Defense of Junk Food Fails
Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, June 26, 2013
- “The French, for example, are famous for their love of butter, cream, eggs, and animal fat — but their obesity rates only started creeping up when they began to shun their traditional diet and embrace processed food.”
In the genes?
Philip Ball, homunculus, June 10, 2013
- “… did anyone at the [biotech company] meeting ask if [Angelia] Jolie had actually made the right choice? It was an extremely difficult choice, but a cancer specialist at NIH I spoke to recently told me that he would not have recommended such a drastic measure. … Jolie’s case shows how a distorted message about genetic determinism, which the companies involved in this business seem still to be giving out, can skew the nature of the choices people will make.”
No Benefit Seen in Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet
Gina Kolata, The New York Times, May 14, 2013
Experts Want More Studies of Diet’s Role for the Heart
Gina Kolata, The New York Times, March 2, 2013
- Article photo caption: “Kevin McNamara, 44, switched to a vegan diet after bypass surgery last year to open two blocked arteries, but they have never been rigorously tested for their impact.”
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
Michael Moss, The New York Times, February 20, 2013
PepsiCo Will Halt Use of Additive in Gatorade
Stephanie Strom, The New York Times, January 25, 2013
- The additive is also used as a fire retardant, as cited above.
Sugary Drinks Linked To Increased Prostate Cancer Risk
Agence France Presse via Business Insider, November 26, 2012
- I’m skeptical of such shallow conclusion-leaping. Still, this supports the thesis that soda of any stripe is not the healthiest choice. Eat an orange.
The Not-So-Hidden Calories From Alcohol
Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times, November 20, 2012
Cutting Out Soda Curbs Children’s Weight Gain, Studies Show
Alice Park, Time, September 22, 2012
- This article cites several studies that purport to assert that diet soda is better for kids than sugared. I would take that recommendation with a grain of salt. Eating less sugar does assist with weight loss; that is indisputable. On the other hand, these studies don’t follow their subjects over time to determine whether there is subsequent accumulative physical damage due to the chemicals in diet soda, which, I might add, has also been shown to be true. Remember that many of these studies are funded by or assisted by soda manufacturers. The very best solution is to allow children little no soda at all in their diets and to allow only “natural” sodas or sugared sodas when soda is allowed. A complete ban is a bad idea in a culture where the banned items are commonly available; “prohibition” doesn’t work on a humanistic level and tends rather to romanticise the banned items, to cause communication breakdown, and to encourage the normalization of cheating and lying. Instead, talk to kids about the truth, make your preferences clear and why, listen without fear or judgment to kids’ questions, and honor their humanity.
Sunny-Side Up: In Defense of Eggs
Kristin Wartman, The Atlantic, August 27, 2012
How Soda Companies’ Social Responsibility Campaigns Are Harming Your Health
Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, June 22, 2012
Soft Drink Consumption Not The Major Contributor To Childhood Obesity
Medical News Today, June 18, 2012
Regarding the study: “Beverage patterns among Canadian children and relationship to overweight and obesity”
Danyliw, A.D., Vatanparast, H., Nikpartow, N., and Whiting, S.J., Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 37(5), doi: 10.1139/ H2012-0074.
- Reliably, a lack of food security (“food security” is knowing that one won’t starve, having access to food at all times, and not dieting) predicts overeating more than sugar consumption – one reason why low-carb diets (fasting in particular), food guilt, and food shaming are terrible ideas and lead directly to eating disorders.
Artificial Sweeteners: The Challenges of Tricking the Taste Buds
Kenneth Chang, New York Times, June 11, 2012
Doubts By The Teaspoonful – Choosing a Sugar Substitute
Kenneth Chang, New York Times, June 11, 2012
Lawsuits slam ‘natural’ claims from [processed] Orange Juice to Chips
Jessica Gresko, Associated Press, May 31, 2012
Home Cooking Makes You Live Longer
Care2, May 21, 2012
Home Cooking Increases Longevity, Cambridge Study Shows (abstract here)
The Huffington Post – Healthy Living, May 18, 2012
U.S. Consumers Become Cook Aware: New Research Details Desire
for Cost-conscious, Home-cooked Meals (Press Release)
MarketWatch, May 16, 2012
- This is a corporate press release, which means that it is biased. Good information about eating. Bad information about cookware. Do not cook with Teflon. Cook with stainless steel or glass (such as Pyrex).
Frequent Cooking Will Help You Live Longer
Medical Xpress, May 16, 2012
Gross Ingredients In Processed Foods
Sarah Klein, The Huffington Post, May 14, 2012
The Calorie-Counting Myth
Sylviana Hamdani, Jakarta Globe, May 14, 2012
- A most helpful and fascinating article. (But don’t drink wine. No matter what “good” things may be in wine, they are also in grape juice; ethyl alcohol kills cells and causes chronic organ disease over time.)
Gum goes from humdrum to teen fashion statement
Bruce Horovitz, USA Today, May 7, 2012
- Even cool gum makers are eschewing aspartame, finally, but as a fashion statement rather than a concern for peoples’ health. Besides, gum is a “new” fashion statement? What happened to the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s? There is nothing new under the sun. People haven’t changed in 150,000 years.
Sudden Cardiac Death and Food Excitotoxin Additives
Russell L. Blaylock, Progressive Radio Network, April 2, 2012 – Dr. Blaylock’s website.
- Excitotoxicity at Wikipedia. Skip the MSG, too, if you want to live.
5 of the Scariest Processed Foods
Dana Angelo White, Food Network, March 9, 2012
Aspartame Withdrawal and Side Effects Explained
Here’s How to Protect Yourself
Aurora Geib, NaturalNews, March 2, 2012
Diet Soft Drinks Linked to Heart Disease
Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times, February 27, 2012
Is there a link between diet soda and heart disease?
Nancy Ferrari, Harvard Health, February 21, 2012
- Much more facing-the-truth than the article above (and much more explanatory).
How to Ditch Your Diet Soda Habit
Amy, Nutrition-Accomplished (blog), February 16, 2012
Tapering off is the best advice for all bad-habits elimination. Cold turkey doesn’t work.
Study Finds Possible Link Between Diet Soda and Vascular Risks
News Releases, University of Miami, February 9, 2012
The History and Problem of Processed Foods
Ellen, The Skinny Code (blog), February 3, 2012
Highly Toxic Mercury Present in Processed Foods, Yet FDA Does Nothing
Anthony Gucciardi, NaturalSociety, December 17, 2011
Is That Flame Retardant In Your Soft Drink?
Rachel Cernansky, Tree Hugger, December 13, 2011
Fatty Foods Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of Science
Robert Langreth and Duane D. Stanford, Business Week, November 11, 2011
- The headline is misleading. Don’t know why. The article discusses processed foods,
not fatty foods.
Processed Food: Trick or Treat?
Bruce Bradley (blog), October 30, 2011
Meet Big Soda — as Bad as Big Tobacco
Kelly Brownell, Time, October 24, 2011
Diet Soda Linked To Weight Gain
Amanda Chan, Huffington Post, June 29, 2011
Food Technology has been Bad for Human Health
Since Long Before the Invention of High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Karen Kaplan, The Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2011
Technology, Diet, and the Burden of Chronic Disease
David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, JAMA, April 6, 2011
Miller School Researchers Link Diet Soda and Salt to Cardiovascular Risk
University of Miami, Health News, February 9, 2011
Diet Soda: Fewer Calories, Greater Stroke Risk?
Katie Moisse, ABC News, February 9, 2011
- So much dithering and denial in this article. Whom do they think they are protecting?
In Times Like These, America’s Diet Of Processed Foods Is An Economic Miracle
Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider, February 5, 2011
- No, it isn’t. Eating processed foods make one hungrier, so one eats far more. No savings there; on the contrary, one spends more on food eating processed food. And then on medical bills later from the chemicals in the foods, and being overweight. No miracles anywhere, Joe, just ill health and a thinner wallet.
Aspartame administered in feed, beginning prenatally through life span, induces cancers of the liver and lung in male Swiss mice. (abstract)
Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Manservigi M, Tibaldi E, Lauriola M, Falcioni L, Bua L., American Journal of Industrial Medicine, December 2010
Am J Ind Med. 2010 Dec;53(12):1197-206.
Choose Foods, Not Nutrients
Shari Roan, The Los Angeles Times, August 10, 2010
High Fructose Corn Syrup Promotes Obesity and Liver Damage
David Gutierrez, NaturalNews, August 9, 2010
America’s Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change
Joseph Mercola, Huffington Post, July 6, 2010
Is aspartame safe?
Sanjay Gupta, CNN Health, March 18, 2010
Process of Elimination
How much do you actually rely on processed foods in your cooking?
Would you be prepared to cut them out for a week?
Richard Ehrlich, The Guardian, May 6, 2009
- The “Three’s a Crowd Rule” is a good one. Cooking from “scratch” is the best rule.
Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury
The Washington Post, January 28, 2009
Thin Can Be Obese Inside
Dan Harrison, WA Today, April 20, 2008
Testimony of Ralph Walton, M.D., former Psychiatry Professor, to Hawaii Health Committee Regarding Aspartame
PRLog, February 10, 2008
Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain
Cutting the connection between sweets and calories may confuse the body,
making it harder to regulate intake
American Psychological Association, February 10, 2008
A role for sweet taste: calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats
Swithers SE, Davidson TL. Behav Neurosci. 2008 Feb;122(1):161-73.
Obesity, Epigenetics, and Gene Regulation
Jill U. Adams, Ph.D., Nature Education, 2008
Adams, J. (2008) Obesity, epigenetics, and gene regulation. Nature Education 1(1).
- “Of two genetically identical mice, how can one be small and another fat? Research on epigenetic changes resulting from the environment can give us clues into obesity in mice – and humans.”
Aspartame manufacturer funds junk science that declares aspartame to be safe
Mike Adams, NaturalNews, September 13, 2007
Aspartame Cancer Risks Revisited: Prenatal Exposure May Be Greatest Concern
M. Nathaniel Mead, Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2007
Environ Health Perspect. 2007 September; 115(9): A460.
Aspartame – FDA, Diet Industry Deny Cancer Link
PSA Rising, June 27, 2007
Study Links Aspartame To Cancer
CBS News, July 28, 2005
Readers may prefer balanced and impartial editorials (Letter)
Ian J. Gordon, BMJ, February 5, 2005
(BMJ. 2005 February 5; 330(7486): 310. – doi: 10.1136/bmj.330.7486.310)
Independently funded studies have found potential for adverse effects (Letter)
John Briffa, BMJ, February 5, 2005
(BMJ. 2005 February 5; 330(7486): 309–310. – doi: 10.1136/bmj.330.7486.309-a)
Aspartame and its Effects on Health
The sweetener has been demonised unfairly in sections of the press
and several websites (Editorial)
Michael E. J. Lean and Catherine R. Hankey, BMJ, October 2, 2004
(BMJ. 2004 October 2; 329(7469): 755–756. – doi: 10.1136/bmj.329.7469.755)
60 Minutes’ Wallace Grills Monsanto Over Sweetener
Josh Gotthelf, St. Louis Business Journal, January 5, 1997
Videos of the 60 Minutes segment here (You Tube) and here (Google Video).
Could there be evils lurking in aspartame consumption?
Christine Lydon, M.D., posted at dorway.com, undated. A very well-written essay.
Aspartame Symptoms Submitted to the FDA
Janet Starr Hull, SweetPoison (blog), undated.
- “The following are symptoms attributed to aspartame in complaints submitted to the FDA by the Department of Health and Human Services April 20, 1995.”
Is Diet Soda Safe? We Examine the Evidence
Dave J. Mitchell, EZineArticles, Undated.
Health Risks from Processed Foods and Trans Fats: Part II
“Interview with Dr. Mary Enig”
Richard A. Passwater PhD, Healthy.net, Undated
- A horribly formatted website, but if you can manage to navigate it, this article is an interesting look into the politics of scientific research.
The Biology of Belief
Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles
Dr. Bruce Lipton. Hay House, 2007. (Paperback. Kindle.)
The Biology of Belief (video)
Biologist Bruce Lipton lectures (for the non-scientist) on the interaction of genes and the environment. Watch it!
The Hundred-Year Lie
How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health
Randall Fitzgerald. Dutton, 2006.
(Paperback. Kindle here.)
The Unhealthy Truth
How Our Food Is Making Us Sick – And What We Can Do About It
Robyn O’Brien. Crown Archetype, 2009; Three Rivers, 2010.
(Paperback. Kindle here.)
Salt Sugar Fat
How the Food Giants Hooked Us
Michael Moss. Random House, 2013.
(Hardcover. Kindle here.)
© 2013 Cathi Carol. All rights reserved. Please do not republish without permission.
Last Updated: August 26, 2013
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