Lion of the Blogosphere

Genes cause obsesity

A single gene accounts for 6% of children with “severe obesity.” Not because the gene causes a lower metabolism, but because it causes people to have a greater appetite.

Also,

The scientists put together an obesity risk score based on DNA alterations at two million places in the genome. People with the highest scores weighed 30 pounds more on average than those with the lowest scores. Among the very obese, 60 percent had a high score.

I don’t actually think that’s a bigger correlation that we have with genes and IQ, but the article is stating it in a way to make it sound bigger and important, while links with genes and IQ is always couched in a way to make it sound small and insignificant. For example, just knowing if someone is black or white tells you that they have an IQ score that’s on average 15 points higher or lower than the other group.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 21, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Biology

53 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The NYT is unlikely to run an article about genes and IQ. I’m surprised they have an article like this, which says genes can determine how hungry you feel. I notice many of those leaving comments seem very angry about the suggestion that people might be fat through no fault of their own.

    One commentator claims that study is no good because it is retrospective rather than prospective. I don’t think that makes any difference when it comes to genes, since you have the same genes all your life. .

    Rosenmop

    April 21, 2019 at EDT am

  2. Eating more calories than the energy you expend, on a consistent basis, causes obesity.

    Over a lifetime of personal habituation we should learn this and have the ability to fine-tune our lifestyle. If we choose not to, well then, it’s apparently dem genes.

    Socially Extinct

    April 21, 2019 at EDT am

    • And drinking too much alcohol causes drunkenness. However, some people have a strong tendency to do this and others do not. And the difference is mostly down to genetics. But feel free to reject the science since it doesn’t agree with your personal prejudices.

      Rosenmop

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • @Rosenmop,

        I agree with what you say. But I do think that we are living in an unusual situation where most of us are surrounded with these temptations on a day-to-day basis.

        I used to ignore the cheap candy at rite aid drugstore. It was just off the menu. Then I don’t know what happened but a couple of years ago I began paying attention to it, and it’s really a problem for me to overcome the temptation to buy the shit.

        Alcohol on the other hand has absolutely no appeal to me. A glass of wine and I’m okay.

        The upshot is that I have to be disciplined.

        gothamette

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • “I used to ignore the cheap candy at rite aid drugstore. It was just off the menu. Then I don’t know what happened but a couple of years ago I began paying attention to it, and it’s really a problem for me to overcome the temptation to buy the shit.”

        Are you getting enough Vitamin C? I got a sweet tooth years ago where I wanted garbage candies like gummy bears and Mike ‘n Ikes all the time but not chocolate or other sweets. Citrus fruits and Vitamin C got rid of my sweet tooth. You might have early-stage scurvy.

        NWS4EVR

        April 22, 2019 at EDT pm

  3. It is not just an appetite. New Obese just have normal weight and body composition different from still most of us normal people. As we get more genetic mixing between different races and ethnicities due to globalization (travel, migrations (like Somalians to Minnesota, Chinese and Indian to Israel and South Africa, everyone to California), intermarriage that comes with this migration) people’s genetic composition will approach that of a prehistoric human that was coming out of Africa (close to the original human genetic mix). This prehistoric human was designed to get as fat as possible when food was abundant to survive spells when food was not available. So, as I predicted here long time ago, people will be normally fat in few to several generations. Latinas and Hawaiians are already approached that limit. Want slim and beautiful grandchildren? Tell your children what I wrote here.

    My 2¢

    April 21, 2019 at EDT am

  4. I’ll bet you they didn’t control for exercise patterns. In the ’70’s, you hardly ever saw obese blacks. Whatever genetic differences existed berween blacks and whites, it didn’t manifest in noticeably different obesity rates. I repeat my contenton, which will never be tested, that since 1990 black life has become so dangerous that extra heft is a survival strategy.

    Department 11

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • Is black life really more dangerous now than in 1970 or 1980? Aren’t murder rates and car accident rates lower? Aren’t there more government health care freebies? Do you have statistics showing that black life in the US is more dangerous today than in the 70s and 80s?

      Gozo

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • Fat mammies like Hattie McDaniel we’re a thing a hundred years ago though.

      Mrs Stitch

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  5. Are dumber (lower IQ) people more likely to reveal a larger BMI?

    It seems apparent, given that proles and NAMs have more of a tendency for weight gain, and as if this is analogous to lower wealth accumulation.

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • Retards are always fat now and dress like little kids.

      Mrs Stitch

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  6. All of these gene correlation studies are pure bullshit p-hacking.

    The entire genomics industry has approximately zero to show for itself despite many tens of billions in spending. Not one therapy or clearly useful test. I’m even suspicious of the claimed ancestry tracking; it seems riddled with errors.

    bobbybobbob

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • And twin and adoption studies, you know, classical behavioral genetics?

      JayMan

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Show me a thing that works. Not punditry. There’s nothing.

        bobbybobbob

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Look them up.

        JayMan

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • I have tried. It literally doesn’t exist. You’ll get sales pitches and oncologists saying the test results don’t matter.

        There are *zero* cases where genomics have proved useful in human medical concerns or animal husbandry. It’s statistical wankery and nothing more. You would think we’d have super cows and pigs and dogs by now. As it turns out, people were clearly better at this stuff 200 years ago than we are now.

        bobbybobbob

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • You didn’t try very hard.

        JayMan

        April 22, 2019 at EDT pm

      • it’s been 46 years and still no horse comes close to secretariat. how many generations of very motivated and well funded selective breeding has that been? epic fail!

        Balthazar Johannes Vorster

        April 22, 2019 at EDT pm

  7. I’ve always thought weight is determined by neurobiological fullness mechanisms, and perhaps sensitivity/ aversion, or lack thereof, to the taste of certain micronutrients. Some people are sickened by the taste of fat, or sugar, for example.

    However nothing in this article explains why overweight-ness and obesity have skyrocketed since 1990(ish), even in children. And no, it’s not HFCS. I have my theories but really don’t know the answer, beyond the fact that the food industry has grown increasingly sophisticated, efficient, and cheap over the past few decades.

    toomanymice

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  8. ps, an interesting gif of global obesity 1975-2014. I wonder how dark it would be if it went to 2018.

    http://metrocosm.com/map-world-obesity/

    toomanymice

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  9. Obesity is caused by eating more calories than your body can expend, which is very easy in a society such as ours.

    I walk up 80 steps at least once a day sometimes twice. According to what I’ve read this caloric expenditure is equal to a half a slice of bread.

    The only people who are affected by caloric expenditure are manual laborers or dancers or endurance athletes. The rest of us have to watch our calories.
    †*******

    OT, the bombings in Sri Lanka were extraordinarily horrible, and extremely well-coordinated. the New York Times has a map of the occurrences, and they were all over the country and coordinated.

    So do people think this is Muslim terrorism or Buddhist terrorism?

    gothamette

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • It’s super weird and I wasted 20 minutes looking around for someone to explain what is going on and failed to find anything. The tamil tiger ethnic conflict was never anything like these church bombings. I have yet to see any explanation of what the heck is going on. Philippines based Muslim radicals? That’s my best worthless guess.

      bobbybobbob

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Islamic terrorism. Has nothing to do with the Tamil Tigers.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • > Islamic terrorism. Has nothing to do with the Tamil Tigers.

        That was my entire point. It’s totally out of left field. It’d be like puerto rican nationalists blowing up vancouver. Nobody is offering a coherent explanation in the media.

        bobbybobbob

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • The Indian media is reporting a couple of Muslim names. You’re right, you can’t get your hands on any solid info.

        The powers-that-be are very frightened.

        gothamette

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • They finally admitted that it was some Muslim fundamentalist or with an unpronounceable name.

        gothamette

        April 22, 2019 at EDT am

  10. Free copyediting. Don’t obsess about “obsesity.”

    gothamette

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  11. If obesity is genetic I wonder how it was held in check for most of human history? It is only recently where it has become widespread.

    Jay Fink

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • Maybe you should go to the art museum and look at the Peter Paul Rubens paintings.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • @Rosenmop,

        I agree with what you say. But I do think that we are living in an unusual situation where most of us are surrounded with these temptations on a day-to-day basis.

        I used to ignore the cheap candy at rite aid drugstore. It was just off the menu. Then I don’t know what happened but a couple of years ago I began paying attention to it, and it’s really a problem for me to overcome the temptation to buy the shit.

        Alcohol on the other hand has absolutely no appeal to me. A glass of wine and I’m okay.

        The upshot is that I have to be disciplined.

        gothamette

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • @Lion,

        The women in Rubens paintings are not obese. look at them. They have big thick muscular thighs, but their upper bodies show small breasts and fairly slender arms.

        Attacks in Sri Lanka appear to be the work of Muslim extremists.

        gothamette

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • “small breasts”

        It was a time before silicon breast implants.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Nah, these women have small tits, period. None of them even hang.

        so is there any more news about the Sri Lanka atrocities? I’ve heard little things here and there that it was Muslim. But they did have a lot of non-sectarian terrorism there a few years back, so who knows.

        gothamette

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • He painted hot thin chicks until he was told to cut it out.

        bobbybobbob

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • [The women in Rubens paintings are not obese.]

        Lion’s comment reminds me of a recent thread on reddit where a woman inquired whether there are men who really find obese women attractive.

        There were a lot of “yes” answers but they all referenced actresses or public personalities who were on the chubby side but nowhere near obese.

        The rubens ladies look about BMI 25 to me (low end overweight BMI).

        toomanymice

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • @gothamette

        There’s a scene in a David Foster Wallace essay in which he goes into the back room of a convenience store and describes being surrounded by a catalog of America’s vices. That image has stuck with me for years. No doubt it’s the libertarian and pro-business streak in our culture, but it’s striking that there is no social penalty whatsoever for retailers who profit off of people’s weaknesses. Go into the average 7-11 and look around. Probably more than 90% of the items on the shelves are things that actively make people’s lives worse. It would be better if these things simply did not exist, or if they were rare and expensive treats. As you say, their presence harms even the people who resist them, since the resistance depletes mental energy that could be better spent on other things.

        The franchise operator who sits behind the 7-11 counter every day serves an endless line of people buying over-sized bags of candy, Doritos, cigarettes, and so on. He is perfectly aware that his business is harming people, but he clearly has made his peace with his behavior. And absolutely no one calls him out on it.

        AN

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • Back in the USSR I was taught that Rubens was painting an ideal image of a woman of hs period.

        Yakov

        April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

      • “As you say, their presence harms even the people who resist them, since the resistance depletes mental energy that could be better spent on other things.”

        I’m too dumb to put it that way. But you’re right.

        That said, I’ve heard that the 7-Eleven type stores in Japan are even worse than ours. Chock-full, gleaming, filled with bad things. And yet the Japanese have the lowest incidence of obesity in the modern world. Splain that.

        gothamette

        April 22, 2019 at EDT am

      • Just saw few paintings of Rubens at Getty Center few days ago. Rubens found his niche by painting fat women. Everyone else was painting cute low-fat women (Johannes Vermeer, Hieronymus Bosch). It is silly to think that fat girls were considered beautiful when Rubens lived. By the same logic you would consider what was beautiful at the time looking at Picasso paintings. I hope not.

        My 2¢

        April 22, 2019 at EDT am

    • It was unleashed on the world when we killed the goddess Etro.

      Jokah Macpherson

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • It was held in check by lack of food and hard manual labour.

      Rosenmop

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • For most of human society people had to work very hard jobs involving a lot of physical activity. Traveling required walking. Go down to a local well or stream and carry all of your dirty laundry, or a few jugs to bring back to your home. Even when we have had conveniences such as homes with plumbing and electricity, the primary way humans entertained themselves was through physical acts, sports, dancing, training animals, and so on. I’m sure if modern people were walking around for 2-3 more hours per day, instead of sitting in front of a screen (TV/PC/Cellphone) they would not be as overweight.

      Panther of the Blogocube

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  12. what does “cause” mean?

    “X causes Y” means what?

    naked it means nothing…or everything.

    in the case of human genes of small effect “X causes Y” means “X causes Y within a very narrow, range restricted environment“.

    hakuho wins again.

    daniel francois malan

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  13. “just knowing if someone is black or white tells you that they have an IQ score that’s on average 15 points higher or lower than the other group.”

    I once read that Samoans in the USA were on average in the 95th percentile of BMI – which is getting close to two standard deviations.

    I was always extremely suspicious of the idea that metabolism could vary markedly between people. People with fast metabolisms wouldn’t survive famines, so evolution would select for slow metabolisms. A fast metabolism would be an inefficient body. If recent evolution has caused differences in metabolism then you’d expect westerners, and particularly the English who have not had a a famine for centuries, to be leaner than most populations – but this is generally not the case.

    In my own case Easter has reminded me what a fat bastard I can be. I was chubby to obese as an adolescent, with a sweet tooth and bad home environment, but intermittent fasting let’s me control my urges to the extent that for years I’ve been ~183 lbs at 6’1″.

    Antipodean Coward

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • [I was always extremely suspicious of the idea that metabolism could vary markedly between people]

      A study of the hadza using isotopic water showed metabolic rate slows at a cellular level during periods of high activity. Food intake did not impact the slowing or hastening of metabolism. However the difference would not account for high obesity rates worldwide. And of course, it’s the active people whose metabolism slows, so we would expect to see fat athletes if this phenomena had a significant impact.

      toomanymice

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  14. It’s strange that lab/zoo animals have been getting fatter:

    “In 2010, an international team of scientists published findings that two dozen animal populations—all cared for by or living near humans—had been rapidly fattening in recent decades. ‘Canaries in the Coal Mine,’ they titled the paper, and the ‘canaries’ most closely genetically related to humans—chimps—showed the most troubling trend. Between 1985 and 2005, the male and female chimps studied experienced 33.2 and 37.2 percent weight gains, respectively. Their odds of obesity increased more than 10-fold. … [T]he scientists write that … the chimps studied were ‘living in highly controlled environments with nearly constant living conditions and diets,’ so their continued fattening in stable circumstances was a surprise. The same goes for lab rats, which have been living and eating the same way for thirty years.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/10/its-not-just-us-even-american-animals-are-getting-fatter/310063/

    chedolf

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • House cats are fat too. Making a feline fat truly takes effort.

      gothamette

      April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

    • This phenomenon supports the idea that the cause is environmental, maybe endocrine disrupters that we’re absent in the past. We can stop blaming fat people if animals to whom will power and social stigma don’t matter are victims too.

      Newyorker

      April 22, 2019 at EDT am

      • “We can stop blaming fat people if animals to whom will power and social stigma don’t matter are victims too.”

        Great point.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 22, 2019 at EDT am

  15. In the real world it seems apparent that genes for self control and intelligence affect weight. Which is the largest reason why weight varies between classes.

    When genes for conscientiousness and weight are found – imagine how the dishonest prestige press will contort to misrepresent the studies. All for telling them what they already know.

    Antipodean Coward

    April 21, 2019 at EDT pm

  16. Knowing the race of an individual doesn’t tell you the IQ of the individual. However, if you meet two random individuals of different races, knowing the mean IQ of each race and the distribution allows you to estimate the _probability_ that one has a higher IQ than the other.

    Peregrino Nuzkwamia

    April 23, 2019 at EDT am


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: