Researchers from the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University have proven that you’re not just what you eat. When we see one friend succeed wildly on a fad diet while another one fails, it’s not that one friend truly had the willpower to give up carbs or eat nothing but soup while the other was sneaking midnight Oreos. We knew it was true (especially if you’ve been the friend on the failed side of the equation, but why?Researchers took four genetic lines of fruit flies and fed a section of each a different diet. They found that some genetic lines were extremely sensitive to changes in dietary intake, while others showed little or no change in size. The thing that had the largest effect on the size of each fly wasn’t diet, but genes.
In perhaps the single sentence that Jenny Craig least wants you to read, here’s what those researchers concluded:” This study strongly suggests that some individuals can achieve benefits from altering their dietary habits, while the same changes for others will have virtually no effect.” Of course, that’s probably also one of the least helpful statements ever made with respect to diet and obesity. It may make someone feel like less of a failure for still carrying that extra ten, twenty or fifty pounds, but it offers absolutely zero advice on what to do next.
Science Daily suggest that in the future, diets should be tailored to an individual’s genes, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. In the meantime, here’s one more step towards scientific and social acceptance of what many people already know to be true: if we want to know why we’re so skinny, or so fat, we’ll learn more from looking at mom than from looking in the fridge.