Why You’re Fat And I’m Not

I have a plethora of physical challenges but being fat isn’t one of them. I typically ate more than my wife Susan, and many of our friends, yet I remained thin while they wrestled with weight issues. I now have a better understanding why.

I’ve been doing research in preparation for a book project with Susan’s former doctor, Steve Foley. Based on his research and extensive medical practice, Steve is resolved to get traction for an idea that’s been around for decades but is largely ignored by the medical community.

Dr. Edwin Atwood, past president of the Endocrinology Society, identified the crux of the matter more than 50 years ago:

A predisposition to fatten easily or remain thin is obviously determined in large part by our genes. If genes determine our height and our hair color and the size of our feet, why can’t heredity be credited with determining one’s shape?”

It can, in large part. “We don’t get fat because we overeat; we overeat because we are getting fat.” And how fat we are programmed to be depends on whether we have the genes of a greyhound or a basset hound, as Gary Taubes notes in his groundbreaking book, Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It.

Weight is a huge problem for lots of folks, and most have the wrong paradigm to deal with it, which creates guilt and ineffective strategies. Taubes gets to the moral heart of the matter when he writes:

It may be easier to believe that we remain lean because we’re virtuous and we get fat because we’re not, but the evidence simply says otherwise. Virtue has little more to do with our weight than with our height. When we grow taller, it’s hormones and enzymes that are promoting our growth, and we consume more calories than we expend as a result. Growth is the cause—increased appetite and decreased energy expenditure are the effects. When we grow fatter, the same is true as well.


Still, there are things you can do about your weight, as Steve’s book will address. Until then, read Gary’s book.

“Do these genes make my butt look fat?”


4 thoughts on “Why You’re Fat And I’m Not

  1. Our genes are a factor, and my personal theory for obesity trend in the United States is sleep deprivation disturbs our appe-stat. We eat to overcome fatigue and stay awake.

  2. We’ve known each other for what, 30 years? We both started out fairly trim. Those first few years I gained 25 lbs. thanks to my wife Renee’s great cooking (she concurs). Then after age 40, I gained another 25 lbs. And then another. You know that I’m leary of diet supplements. About three weeks ago, however, I watched http://www.realdoseweightloss.com, checked them out, bought RealDose Weight Loss Formula No. 1, and then took off on a week-long trip to California. While there I woke up at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, June 2, with an apparent heart attack and Renee rushed me to ER. Thankfully, it was just a heart episode (no damage). Still, as soon as I got back home last Tuesday night I started taking RealDose 30 min. before each meal. The first meal was Wednesday breakfast. A week later I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 11.0 lbs. so far. This is NOT a commercial for RealDose. Instead, I’d love to see Dr. Steve Foley take a chapter to address the pros and cons of such dietary supplements. Is RealDose all it’s hyped up to be? Or just another diet pill with unintended negative consequences. Actually, I’m not sure I can wait for the book. So, let me know what Dr. Foley says! I’d rather junk $70 than keep taking something that’s not good for my health short- and/or long-term. Sign me, Curious

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