The Heritage of Corpulence

OBESITY is a disorder which, like venereal disease, is blamed upon the patient. The finding that treatment doesn’t work is ascribed to lack of fortitude. Corpulence in America is regarded along with narcotic addiction as something wicked, and I shall not be surprised if soon we have a prohibition against it in the name of national security. The condition is referred to in disparaging terms, including the most impolite references to the appetite. Appetite is held to be the cause, but I say it is hunger. I wish to propose that obesity is an inherited disorder and due to a genetically determined defect in an enzyme; in other words, that people who are fat are born fat, and nothing much can be done about it. I would like further to propose that the more serious of the consequences of being fat are not due to the corpulence but to the inherited defects; if this be so and we like food, we might as well eat up and be happy.
Astwood, 1962  

Adding:  A free double Cherry Pickin' Martini for anyone who can get me the full text of this.  Carbsane at gmail dot com.  Thanks in advance!


George Henderson said…
In genomics there is a rule of thumb about behaviour; 50% is inherited from parents, 25% learned from parents or caregivers, 25% adopted from peers. If obesity results from behaviour (eating, activity), - which is of course debatable- then genetics are indeed stacked against the obese loosing weight.
The behavioural argument is the mainstay of the fat-shamers, but if it were true it would practically absolve most people of personal responsibility.
carbsane said…
Genetics cannot explain the obesity epidemic, however.

Also, I can't recall the gene name just now, but I recall some discussion where only half of those with the gene become obese ... anyone know what I'm talking about? F-something?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
The Endocrine Society wants $31 for something that was written in 1962? Pfffft!
Evelyn, you already know my opinion of what caused the obesity "epidemic", as we've argued about it before.

I still believe that it's due to the increase in volume and cunning of marketing. Read Yoni Freedhoff's blog to see the increasingly-sophisticated shenanigans that large companies are getting up to, to increase their market share, profit etc.
carbsane said…
I know, right? I don't know why all old articles are paywalled. At some point the newer content ought to be paying the bills :D

As to marketing, (1) where the kids go it is a matter of "access" and (2) adults are just too gullible (witness paleo fad ;-) )
Nigel Kinbrum said…
The following 2 second video sums up my opinion on how the fight against "The obesity 'epidemic'" is going:-