A lot of people in our society, especially women, take a lot of flak for their weight. As it turns out, it’s pointless to even bother hurling criticism, say scientists.
A recent study conducted by experts at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center shows that they have discovered an adipose gene or what’s commonly known as the “skinny” gene that controls fat formation in cells in human bodies.
“This is good news for potential obesity treatments, because it’s like a volume control instead of a light switch; it can be turned up or down, not just on or off,” says Dr. Jonathan Graff, the study’s senior author.
The good news is that people who have struggled mightily with their weight could now have concrete evidence that suggests why they remain unsuccessful in their attempts. The bad news is now that they’ve discovered it, it’s not clear if something as evasive as weight loss can be treated with drugs.
As expected, questions like these arise. I’m sure experts say that now that they’ve discovered this miraculous
gene, they can get to work. Despite their reasoning and hard-sought research, it may give false hope to people with conditions and diseases like obesity and diabetes. Dr. Graff has already stated that it will take years to develop truly efficient drugs to target the problem and come up with suitable results.
Obsession with weight has thrust Americans into the negative spotlight for so long that we’ve become a bit of a punchline for other countries to use when they look at our lifestyle. Headlines in magazines that suggest we’re the “fattest” country in the world or cast our beloved city, Philadelphia, with this inaccurate description demands we take notice of our unhealthy image. A “skinny” gene only works to a person’s advantage if that person lives in an environment where healthy eating habits are carried out daily.
Taking a look at Los Angeles, or more specifically Hollywood, where many of the city’s patrons are the rich and famous. There, you are paid to look thin and beautiful and expected to live up to the impossible standard of keeping a super-trim figure. How can a city like Philadelphia with so many classic fatty foods like the cheesesteak compete with a city with a more health-conscious image?
The “skinny” gene discovery still manages to work out for some in Hollywood who may not require a personal trainer. Recently, Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo told Los Angeles Confidential Magazine that it frustrates her when people don’t accept that she is naturally thin and has been that way for years when they draw conclusions about her weight. Though many people are reluctant to believe her, her claim seems totally within reason.
Pompeo is merely one of the many in this country who won’t worry about their weight fluctuating.
The discovery of the “skinny” gene will hopefully lead to groundbreaking remedies for people with serious weight issues. It still doesn’t seem fair knowing that the ones who are asked how they manage to stay so thin without trying, get to shrug their shoulders with convincing ease and say, “Just lucky, I guess.” The fact that scientists agree with this assessment is even more disheartening.
Megan Suermann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.