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Monday, January 28, 2008

Why is this study more scientific when it comes to the fat gene argument?

More scientific study on genetics:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/story?id=2802503

Why is this study more scientific when it comes to the fat gene argument? Because Scientists studied the actual "fat gene" in 300 different people who became severely obese at a young age.

Only 3% had a "fat gene" problem.

As opposed to the study where people just basically looked at the differences in twins and didn't actually test anyone's hormones.

You might ask why this is more significant. This is only 300 people as opposed to 5,000 sets of twins. Wouldn't the larger number create a better cross section? Not necessarily. You can take a million people and not have proper methodology. i.e. correlation is not the same as causation.

Everyone knows different people have different metabolisms, even in the same household. And respond differently to different foods and amounts of foods, so feeding twins the same amount of food (no actual report on WHAT that food was) doesn't tell anyone much of anything, except what everybody already knows.

We also aren't able to account for what the kids are eating when they aren't at home. i.e. school lunches. Or if they are trading lunches with other kids, or if they are going to friends houses and eating junk and playing nintendo. We just don't know. With a study that large, it's highly unlikely these kids were followed around 24/7. This isn't to say overweight kids are automatically eating "bad" by most people's standards and not exercising, but something in what they are eating is affecting them. We can't just behave as if calories and the contents of those calories is meaningless.

Another problem with the 5,000 report is the fact that they didn't report what the actual food was. (likely because that would be impossible) There are too many variables. i.e. there was likely a wide range of foods served in these households, some of them healthy some of them not.

By focusing on the "fat kid" they're ignoring the possibility that the overweight child might have a normal metabolism and the thin child might have a really fast one.

Bottom line the 5,000 kid study has too many variables, which is probably why there are 5,000 kids to try to balance that out. But with the 300 person study we're isolating the ACTUAL "fat gene." As opposed to just assuming the same environment affecting two different kids differently means "healthy food plus exercise equals fat kids anyway" (actually the study didn't assume that, only the people who read the study)


Yoga Nut is a regular contributer to My Fat Spouse

1 comment:

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