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The fat gene

The Daily Mail reports,

Scientists have discovered a rogue gene behind the obesity epidemic.

They say the genetic make-up of one in six Britons increases their risk of becoming dangerously overweight by 70 per cent and their chance of developing diabetes by a half.

The study, led by geneticists from Oxford University and the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, could lead to ways of treating and even preventing the condition that blights the health of millions.

There is a definite trend to blame all of humanity’s illnesses on our genes. In fact it is widely recognised that most illnesses are partly due to a genetic predisposition and partly due to so-called environmental factors. I put it to you that we ourselves can control environmental factors. Given that this so-called ‘fat’ gene has been around for tens of thousands of years, it is a bit odd that it should only make such a tremendously florid display today.

There is a hazard when a genetic factor is found to cause a predisposition for a disease. A kind of fatalism may develop. A person may get a chip on his shoulder, and refuse to take responsibility for his life and in this case his weight.

I hope he will forget about his genes, lose the chip on his shoulder, and leave the chips on his plate.