Things (Besides Food) That Can Make You Fat -- Being Overweight May Not Be Your Fault!

Being Fat Is Not Your Fault

People and animals are both subject to their DNA or genetics.  Some people are programmed to be overweight or fat.
People and animals are both subject to their DNA or genetics. Some people are programmed to be overweight or fat. | Source

Most People Are NOT to Blame for Being Fat

There are many things that can cause a person to be overweight or obese, and many of them are not easy to control. Efforts to control them will have limited success at best.

While many people like to demean and sneer at fat people for not having control of their eating habits, the facts are that some things are beyond the control of anyone.

If you do not suffer from these issues that more often than not cause people to be fat, count your blessings instead of criticizing.

While fat has been demonized by many people and organizations, the truth is that we all need some fat and sometimes, believe it or not, overweight people have the advantage and actually live longer and healthier lives. Read about why that is so at the end of this article just before the list of references for the information contained here.

Following is a short list of conditions, medications, and other issues that can cause people to put on excess fat. This list is by no means comprehensive. To make this list comprehensive I would have to write a book.

Genetics Play a Big Part In Your Body's Predisposition to Put On Weight

Example of a DNA strand built from Legos
Example of a DNA strand built from Legos | Source
Just like our height, the color of our eyes, hair, and skin, our predisposition to size/weight is hereditary.
Just like our height, the color of our eyes, hair, and skin, our predisposition to size/weight is hereditary. | Source

Genetics Can Make You Fat

That’s right. Your genes can make you too fat for your jeans! Or at least too fat for the jeans you would like to fit into. We are all a product of our genetics and none of us (so far as anyone knows) get to choose our genetic makeup.

Everyone knows at least one reed thin person who eats more than a horse and a cow put together, yet they remain reed thin. That is most likely genetics at work, although it could also be a metabolism issue due to other causes. Even though metabolism issues can be the result of environmental factors, most of the time metabolism issues are a result of genetics.

Then there are people who hear the word food, or any word relating to food, or perhaps they smell food cooking, and instantly 10 additional pounds adhere to their hips. That too, is usually genetic.

Life is not fair. Why should some people be able to eat anything and everything nonstop and remain thin, or at least what is considered normal weight, while other people put on weight at the very thought of food? It is not a matter of choice, but genetics. Most people gain weight easily – or not – as a result of genetics, and none of us chose our genes nor can we control them.

So why are so many people intent on making us feel guilty for the genetics we inherited through no fault of our own? Perhaps some of you reading this who find fat people disgusting could explain that in the comments section of this hub . . .

Gut Bacteria

Example of bacteria in your stomach
Example of bacteria in your stomach | Source

As scientists work out the details by which out gut bacteria make us fat, health mandarins need to look beyond the simplistic calories in/calories out mantra for explanations of the obesity epidemic. (Sharon Begley, The Daily Beast Health)

Scientists know that hundreds of species of bacteria live in the gut and an average person carries about 5 pounds (2 kg) worth. (Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor for Reuters.)

Chinese scientists reported in the journal “Nature” that they found 1,000 different species [of bacteria] in human intestines. (Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor for Reuters.)

Studies suggest that the diversity of bacterial species in our guts partially determines how efficiently our cells process and store food and that, in a feedback loop, what we eat alters the demographics of the bacteria in our intestines. (Ferris Jar, Scientific American)

Germs Can Make You Fat

Sharon Begley, writing for the Health section of The Daily Beast (Newsweek) reports that there are a gazillion studies that show, “The calories that matter are not simply the number printed on grocery items, fast-food menus, and those guilt-inducing signs next to Starbucks’ brownies. The calories that count are those extracted by your digestive enzymes and—as more and more research is showing—the trillions of bacteria in your intestine.”

Begley says that all those studies show that like everything else, all bacteria are not created equal. Some bacteria digest carbohydrates and fats in your diet better than other bacteria do. The better your bacteria are at digesting these macronutrients, the more calories your body will absorb!

Example: If you and your neighbor have relatively the same metabolisms, but your neighbor’s gut and intestine contain more efficient bacteria than yours do, your neighbor can eat exactly the same diet containing the same number of calories that you do, except your neighbor may be ‘fluffy,’ (fat) because your neighbor’s bacteria do a better job of digesting the macronutrients and therefore your neighbor’s body absorbs more calories.

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are called macronutrients because they should make up the largest part and the main part of your diet. They are the nutrients that benefit your body most providing energy and maintenance (growth and repair).

Jeffrey Gordon and some of his colleagues of Washington University reported in “Nature,” (a science journal), that slim and obese mice have different types of bacteria in their guts. Most importantly they determined in their many studies that “the bacteria caused obesity, rather than obesity producing a specific mix of bacteria. When the scientists plucked bacteria called Firmicutes from obese mice, then put them in the bacteria-free guts of mice raised in a sterile environment, the latter bulked up within 10 to 14 days—even though they ate less.”

Another consideration of Gordon and his associates is that gut bacteria may contribute to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes because they may alter the immune system.

With no progress being made in the fight against obesity, Randy Seeley, an obesity researcher at the University of Cincinnati, says he believes it is a “distinct possibility” that things in our environment, such as food and drugs and other things are causing much of the obesity problem.

A recent study (June 2010) by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and America’s Health showed that obesity rates had gone up in 28 states and had gone down in none, even though many people are dieting and trying genuinely to lose weight.

There are a number of videos on YouTube that explain how gut bacteria can cause obesity. They are all water marked and so I cannot post them here for your convenience, however putting the words “stomach bacteria causes obesity” in the search box should bring up a good selection of them if you wish to learn more on this subject. There are also references at the end of this article.

Pesticides and Herbicides Are On All but Organic Produce - Residue May Remain and Get Into Processed Foods

Crop dusters cannot control the drift of their chemicals that are spread by air currents and wind beyond their targeted area.
Crop dusters cannot control the drift of their chemicals that are spread by air currents and wind beyond their targeted area. | Source

Has human anatomy changed? No, but food has changed a lot. Foods that were healthy 50 years ago may not necessarily be healthy in 2010. (CBS NEWS)

We produce six billion pounds of the obesogen BPA every year and it's detectable in 93 percent of Americans. (CBS NEWS)

BPA is an ingredient in the lining of cans that leaches into foods and interferes with the hormones that tell your body when it's full. (CBS News)

Pesticides and Other Food Additives Can Make You Fat

Stephen Perrine, author of, “New American Diet,” says pesticides, plastic pollutants, antibiotics, and growth hormones (also referred to as obesogens because they make you obese) are being put in our food and they are causing us to gain weight. He says toxins in our food are causing obesity and excess weight in general.

CBS News reports that Perrine stated on the “Early Show,” that the American Medical Association agrees that the above-mentioned chemicals in our food play a “significant role in our national obesity crisis.”

Which foods are the greatest offenders? Perrine lists nonorganic fruits and vegetables as well as farm raised fish, beef, poultry, pork, etc., as being laden with pesticides and/or growth hormones.

Plastic compounds can be found in the linings of canned drinks, sports drinks, and even baby formula. Also, they are found in the linings of canned tomatoes, tuna, soup, and beans. In the case of tuna, these plastic compounds that leach into it from the plastic lining in the cans should be avoided by buying tuna in pouches instead of cans.

Researchers from 10 different universities including Johns Hopkins and Yale School of Medicine believe that steroid hormones in meat from conventional dairy farms were very probably contributing to the obesity epidemic in this country.

Beef raised in today’s conventional way, fed soy and corn, which are considered obesogens due to the pesticides and other chemicals in them, are also injected with 6 different steroids – which are also obesogens! The typical steak has 7 and a half times more fat than a normal steak should have as a result.

Most Americans are exposed to 10-13 different pesticides in their food, drinking water, and other beverages every single day! Of the 10 most common pesticides found on or in food, 9 of them are “endocrine-disrupting,” and have been correlated to weight gain.

Chemicals in general, and pesticides specifically, can have a number of different affects on our bodies, some which may not even be known yet.

Perhaps the scariest affect of some pesticides is that they mimic estrogen, the so-called female hormone. Estrogen undermines our body’s ability to build lean muscle and promotes fat storage. We get a shot of that every time we ingest pesticides from fresh fruits and vegetables, or processed foods that were treated in the growing process with pesticides, or plastic residue that has leeched into the food in plastic containers.

Artificial Sweeteners Can Make You Fat

That’s right. All those artificial sweetener laden diet drinks, and artificial sweeteners you added to your food thinking they would help hold your weight down, or help you lose weight, can do just the opposite.

Holly Strawbridge, Executive Editor of the Harvard Heart Letter writing for Harvard Medical School Publications writes, “. . . use of artificial sweeteners can make you shun healthy, filling, and highly nutritious foods while consuming more artificially flavored foods with less nutritional value.”

Artificial sweeteners are actually fed to livestock to fatten them up for market! Read more about that in the article “Diet Drinks Can Make You Fat.”

Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions can be an increase in appetite.

Cortisol is also known as the "stress hormone" because an excess of cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, so that the normal pattern of cortisol is changed from what is normal for you. The interruption of your normal pattern of cortisol secretion can actually promote weight gain, and it can also affect where you put the weight on! (

Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) by cells.

Weight gain may also be related to other complex functions of insulin in the body related to how cells use fats and proteins. (

Physical Conditions That Can Make You Fat

Jene Luciani, writing for says that food sensitivity may make you fat. Food sensitivity is not the same thing as an allergy to particular foods, Luciani says, but food sensitivities can cause your body to react adversely by causing your body to produce more cortisol and insulin.

Generally food sensitivities are not life threatening, but can nevertheless cause discomfort by causing headaches, bloating, fatigue, and they can cause your body to store more than the usual amount of fat.

Luciani says more and more celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus are learning what foods they are sensitive to and cutting them out of their diets.

“Nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, co-host of TLC's Freaky Eaters, [says] 70 percent of [all] people have some type of food sensitivity, the most common culprits being dairy, wheat, sugar, corn, soy, peanuts, and eggs.” Virgin also says, ‘"This immune reaction also paradoxically makes them [food sensitive people] crave the very foods that are hurting them thus creating a vicious cycle that is hard to break out of."’

Here are some other diseases and conditions that can cause you to gain weight, or make it difficult to impossible to lose weight. Sometimes hormonal imbalance is part of the condition, and sometimes the increase in certain hormones will make you feel hungry even when your body does not require food, or can make your hunger difficult to satisfy. This list is by no means comprehensive, but should give you an idea of some of the many conditions that can cause weight gain and retention.

Hypothyroid Disease


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Stress (Cortisol production increases)

Cushing’s Disease

Insulin Resistance



Insufficient Sleep

For more information on how lack of sleep can affect your weight and your health read, "Not Enough Sleep Can Make You Fat!"

Antihistamines increase your appetite and are often sedating, says James Roerig, associate professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Fargo. ( Some name brands included in this group of drugs are Allegra, Zyrtec.

Dr. Cheskin calls the weight-promoting effect of insulin paradoxical. "The things that we use to treat some conditions that are the result of obesity, like [type 2] diabetes, are prone to make you more obese," he says. (

Medications That Can Make You Fat

Carina Stores, writing for, points out that many of the drugs used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes (all obesity related conditions) cause weight gain and retention.

Here is a list of some medications that can and often do cause weight gain:

Paxil – an antidepressant used to treat anxiety.

Prozac (fluoxetine) – an antidepressant that usually causes weight loss, but over the long haul can actually cause weight gain.

Remeron (mirtazapine) – an antidepressant, but sometimes given to elderly people to improve their appetite.

Depakote or Valproic acid -- used to treat bipolar disorder and seizures, and prevent migraines.

Zyprexa (olanzapine) – an antipsychotic drug used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This drug can really pile on the pounds.

Steroids and Oral corticostoroid drugs in high dosages for asthma and inflammatory bowel disease are known to have caused weight gain in 60-80% of its users.

Thorazine (chlorpromazine) – antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar conditions increases appetite and sedates a person so that they are less alert and more inclined to be sedentary.

Elavil, Endep, Vanatrip (amitriptyline) – used to treat deptression and migrain headaches, can cause heart damage in addition to excessive weight gain.

Diabinese, Insulase, Actos, and Prandin – used to treat type2 diabetes increase appetite.

Insulin – used to treat type2 diabetes. Most of the weight gain occurs in the first 3 months of treatment.

Inderal, Tenormin, and Lopressor – used to treat high blood pressure. These drugs are beta-blockers that slow calorie burning and cause fatigue. Some of the newer beta-blocker drugs are believed to cause less weight gain.

Birth Control medications

A Japanese study of over 600 centenarians found that many of those who made it to 100 were quite chubby in their 50s. (Jerome Burne, The Daily Mail)

The dangers of obesity have been highly exaggerated,’ (Lucy Aphramor., NHS dietician at Coventry University, London)

To lose 1 pound of weight, you need to burn off 3,500 more calories than you take in. Cut just 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound in a week, or 1,000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds in a week. (WebMD)

Why You Need Some Fat to Be Healthy

Fat does a lot of things for us that are positive and necessary. It protects our organs, stores energy from the food we eat so it is available to us as needed at a later time, and even keeps us warm. According to WebMD, “Body fat also houses the chemical reactions that manage growth and the immune system. Within our fat, hormones and proteins talk to one another to keep the body running.”

Fat acts as the body’s power station and can actually sense bacterial and viral attacks. When an attack is expected fat cells work together to produce proteins that will fight the intruders. In addition, fat provides necessary energy to the body to keep fighting infection, which is especially important in the case of a chronic infection, (Jerome Burne, The Daily Mail; Mail Online).

In addition to that, our hair and our skin look healthy and glowing when we eat enough fat. Fatty acids are part of the makeup of hair, (WebMD).

Everyone needs some fat to stay healthy. It is not fat that is so much unhealthy as it is being UNFIT. Exercising and keeping active will go a long way towards staying fit and healthy even when you are a little bit overweight.

Catherine Collins, chief dietitian at St George’s Hospital London says, “being a bit plump can increase bone density, due to the extra load you are carrying, which can help prevent brittle bones, particularly in older women.”

Collins further states that she would rather see people in their 40s and 50s a little overweight rather than underweight because being a bit overweight at this stage of life can provide you a “reserve” that can keep you alive longer. Fat also acts as a reserve for vitamins and minerals that may be needed to counter malnutrition in later years.

An article in the Nutritionist Journal authored by Lucy Aphramor and other experts on obesity say that “Obese patients are less than half as likely to die in the three years after treatment for a heart attack as patients with a normal body mass index.”

References – Food sensitivity can make you fat

Medications that cause weight gain,,20545602,00.html on Cortisol and stress

Drugs and conditions that can cause obesity

Why a little extra fat may be good for you.

Reasons you may be fat

Weight bias

ABC NEWS gut germs can make you fat

Pesticides and other chemical additives cause obesity


UCLA Study



© 2013 C E Clark

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Comments 148 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 13 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article! There are some things listed here that people could avoid if they were aware of the consequences of using these products.

We did have a few very cold nights recently, but it looks like it will stay above freezing for a while now. Remained in the 50s las' night. :) Take care . . .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 13 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

This should be of even more interest to people since many start the thought of dieting in the new year. When I have sleepless nights I often think of this article. Will share this once again. Stay warm up there! Should be a cold night tonight...even down to the freezing mark in parts of Houston.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for coming by and commenting. Yes, there are so many things in our environment that can add weight to our person and most people are completely unaware. These things that add weight can be so discouraging especially when one is dieting and trying so hard to shed some pounds! My list here is the short one. There are dozens more things that have an adverse affect -- as in adding weight. I could have written a book instead of just an article.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

This is certainly an evergreen article and one that many people should read. Will once again share. Thanks for the condolences regarding Dusty. Peaches has finally gotten over the worst part of her mourning period and is once again playing. At certain times she still shows that she misses his companionship. Yes...animals certainly do have feelings!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Stella (Ladyguitarpicker), thank you for commenting and sharing your frustrations with steroids. There are about 25 different things mentioned in this article that can make a person fat, but I had many more to choose from. This is the short list of things that can make a person fat and without their even knowing it!

ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 17 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

I love your hub it seems to cover a lot of problems people have. I had so many steroids this year for inflammation,I have gained almost 10 pounds and it sure is hard to take off. I have also given up diet drinks and artificial sweetener. My doctor, suggest to never eat out, it is that bad. Thanks for this informative hub. Stella

Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Mothebynature, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and especially for adding valuable information! In truth, there are a lot of things not included here. I tried to include 25 different causes of weight gain that most people don't even realize are affecting them, but to list all the things that cause weight gain without a person's realizing it would require a book.

My main point here is to let all those people out there who believe it is their calling to inform people who are overweight, often by mean unpleasant ways, that they should worry about their own scales and keep their thoughts to themselves. They do not know why someone is overweight. It isn't always because they eat too much or eat the wrong foods, etc. So instead of body shaming people because they are a little or a lot overweight, have some compassion. I don't know of a single person who grew up wanting to be not a fireman or a ballerina, but a fat person.

There are so, so many things in our environment and our lifestyles that we don't realize are causing weight gain that it boggles the mind. Even the plastic water bottles and plastic lining in tin cans of vegetables, fruits, and meats, etc., can cause weight gain because the chemicals in the plastic leeches out into the food product when the slightest amount of heat is added to that container -- just lying in the sun will do it.

So I was hoping to encourage overly critical people to cut overweight people some slack. Instead of criticizing they should be thanking God they don't have a weight problem themselves.

I always say, the second a person becomes perfect they should lecture everyone within hearing range on how to improve themselves, but until that second arrives, keep it to yourself and get to work on what you have some control over -- yourself, and maybe starting with your mouth and what comes out of it. ;)

Motherbynature profile image

Motherbynature 18 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

This hub is very organized and detailed. I myself am carrying some Zyrtec weight. One thing you did not mention is dehydration, especially chronic dehydration. This forces your body to store water because you never give it enough. It takes weeks to reverse chronic dehydration by drinking a minimum of 70 oz of water a day and supplementing with electrolyte water. Once your body gets used to being properly hydrated it will start to "dump" the retained fluid through urinating. That's how dieter's tea works. When I used to train, doing this would help me get better muscle definition.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for sharing that info about the kittens with me and my readers and for sharing this article, too! I say genetics rules. Look how hard it is to change your eye color? Sure you can wear tinted contact lenses, but that's not really changing your eye color is it? Depending on one's genetics it may be possible to have some control over one's weight.

Of course certain things in our environment, not just too much food, can affect our weight as well as our health, and if we aren't aware so that we can control the affect, we could end up with a weight problem.

I'm so sorry to hear about Dusty. I'm sure peaches misses him very much. Years ago I had a dog and a cat that were best friends and when the cat was accidentally killed the dog lay down and cried. Who says animals don't have feelings? I know from growing up on a farm around all kinds of animals that they do have feelings.

It's too hot to think up here. 99 F. again today. Last two days it was 100 each respectively. Hope you can stay in where it's cool. Take care . .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

Genetics certainly does play a role.....for pets as well as people. The cat that my mother rescued which immediately had 5 kittens the day she brought her home is a case in point. My mother's veterinarian adopted 2 of the kittens and from almost day 1 had to have the one cat on a food reduction diet. Not the case with the other one. Same litter but definitely different genetics!

Speaking of cats, we had to have Dusty euthanized a couple of weeks ago. Poor Peaches who had shared our home with him as an inside cat for 13 of those years is still in mourning mode. We miss him also.

Hope things are going well for you up in north Texas. Will share this once again for those who might have missed reading this.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Fpherj48, Paula, thank you for taking time to comment on this article and for your high praise. No, don't know the cat. Found him/her on Flickr as stated in the credit. The cat does look amazingly healthy given it's condition, don't you think? Seems happy and content, etc. I would think it must be more than just overeating that has caused this cat to be so rotund.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

AudreyHowitt, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Happy Easter!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, for the votes and the share and most of all for your friendship. Appreciate what you have added because it is so true that emotions create stress often times and next thing here comes a gallon of ice cream for comfort . . .

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Au fait.....Besides being an excellent & educational hub (as all of your work is great)...I simply had to stop by to comment on that adorable "CHUBBY" cat! LOL. I must say I have never seen such a pudgy cat! He or she is cute in a huge sort of way, although he must wonder why he can't do what the other kitties can do! I had to laugh that even his cheeks are chubby! I love cats. Do you KNOW this cat personally? LOL

His face seems to be expressing..."what are you staring at??" LOL.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Zipenterprises, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! There are a lot of things that cause weight gain in our food that many people don't even know is there. There are lots of things in our environment nowadays that we don't control, but it adds pounds to our bodies. Even people who eat a poor diet and don't exercise are not totally to blame for their condition and may find it extremely difficult to get that weight off if they continue to keep some of the habits that put it there -- like eating vegetables from tin cans or drinking water from plastic bottles, etc.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 23 months ago from California

So informative! We really are complex in our structures and there are no simple solutions --exceptionally well-researched article!

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago

Sometimes hurt and anger can cause one to gain weight or lose weight.

Thumb-up, UABI and shared again.

Blessings and Hugs to you my dearest friend.

zipenterprises 23 months ago

some people are overweight mostly because of their diet and lack of exercise, it defintiely true that many have others resasons, and some people , can't help it Some people are lucky to have a healty metabolism ..

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for the votes and share. Yes, if one knows something besides food is causing weight gain figuring out what it is and eliminating it from one's life can sometimes make all the difference. That's if it can be eliminated once it has been identified. Sometimes it's medications that can't be eliminated.

DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 23 months ago from Orange County, California

This article is so helpful. I think a lot of people have no idea that there are other problems, besides food, that could be causing them to gain weight. I have voted this up and shared it. Thanks for the info.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

peachpurple, thank you for reading and commenting. I talked to a man just this morning who was taking a medication that caused him to gain weight. There are lots more reasons why people gain weight than what I have listed here, besides food that is. Thank you for sharing.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Ezzly, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Glad you discovered something you didn't know before.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Vocalcoach, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It isn't the overweight crowd that needs to read this so much as the people with the big mouths that say ugly things and feel obligated and entitled to criticize overweight people. They are usually of normal or reed thin size and have never had a weight problem in their lives. The main purpose of this article is to promote tolerance and instead of criticizing overweight people, a person should thank God if they are not one of them, and think what they might do to be kind and help the less fortunate person's situation. Agree that trying to make obese people feel worse about themselves does nothing to help the situation.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for sharing that news with me and my reader. I know some people imagine genes only matter when it comes to height and hair color and the like, but is that even logical?

I have heard the argument that genes govern everything about us from our personalities, our physical characteristics, our talents and intelligence and mannerisms to our likes and dislikes, etc. When I watched my daughter grow up and exhibit mannerisms like my mother's I was convinced. My mother died 19 years before my daughter was born, so it couldn't have been modeling.

We can modify our genes and the environment certainly works on the predispositions we're born with, and many things we inherit require a trigger or have a time clock. It's all very complicated. My niece is married to a geneticist. I think it is all so very interesting.

But if our genes determine our height, skin, eye, and hair color/texture, and so much more about just our physical body, why not our predisposition to gain (or not) weight? I read just a couple of days ago that people who are genetically predisposed to be overweight are never successful in permanently losing weight. It's a daily fight for them to get it off and especially to keep it off. That's just the ones who succeed, many never do. And if it isn't their fault for gaining weight by just thinking about food, why should they be made to feel terrible about themselves and guilty every minute of their lives?

I will say again, there are worse things than fat. Some of the ugly things people say because they imagine it is their right to pass loud judgment on overweight people is far worse than the condition they're criticizing. Trying to guilt trip people and make them want to suicide just because someone who has a worse condition than fat doesn't find them visually attractive or wants to pick on somebody is just wrong no matter why they are overweight.

Thanks again for adding to this article!

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

You made your point very well. Medication is one of the cause, true. My brother in law became fat due to pills he had

ezzly profile image

ezzly 2 years ago

Excellent article, I never knew about gut bacteria as a cause ! Voted up!

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This is such an excellent hub on being fat. I've been watching a television show called "My 600 pound life," and feel so bad for these folks. They need to read this article. These men and women pack so much guilt which sure doesn't help with weight loss.

Thanks for all the information and research you've done. May it help those that need it. Will share.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

On the televised news just the other day was a report on how they are starting to identify certain genes that have to do with people carrying excess weight. As your title implies, it is not always the over indulgence of people that causes excess weight. Hope the research continues! Sharing this once again. Happy Valentine's Day today!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Tillsontitan, thank you for coming by and for all the votes! Many things besides the food we eat contribute to obesity in our society. I was just reading on this subject today on WebMD. Not getting enough sleep, water from plastic water bottles, food from tin cans, and the list goes on.

Most people don't even realize these things are all contributing, and of course there is the effect of several of these things at once, not just one.

Agree that age does lower our metabolism and that we have to be all the more vigilant about keeping it up with exercise and diet after 40.

Learning what the many things are that contribute to obesity can help people decide whether to eliminate some of these things from their lives or somehow try to combat them, though there is no proof anything will do that. Mostly removing them from our lives is the best answer and that's much easier said than done.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for sharing it and voting on it, etc. Actually, I have no issue with your adage, "You are what you eat." I think that is absolutely correct. If we eat garbage excessively and pay no attention to nutrition, our bodies will at some point in some way fail us. How could it not? However eating healthfully is no guarantee we will be healthy, but not heating healthfully all but does guarantee we will not be healthy. Still there are other things that must be considered that affect our health, our emotional well being, our weight, and how well our organs work, and more.

My issue on this subject is your statement, "Anyone who is fat undoubtedly likes sweets, bakery, and fast food." Did you know the nasty chemicals that bleed into bottled water from the plastic the bottle is made of when the slightest amount of heat is applied not only causes cancer but weight gain? I wrote an article about that on WikiNut. They made me take the URL off my article about it, but the article is titled: Are Bottled Water and Canned Foods Secretly Making You Fat?

Like I said, I only listed a few things that make people fat without their even realizing it. Common things that most of us use and never imagine they would have a negative effect especially weight gain. Just the sun shining on a bottle of water is enough to release those awful chemicals that cause cancer and/or weight gain. It doesn't take much.

More and more people are having weight issues and many of them are not related to what or how much they eat. We seem to live in a toxic environment these days. Thank you again for reading . . .

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tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

As always Aufait, a well researched hub chock full of information. The sad thing is, short of genetics and food sensitivity it looks like we are destined to be fat thanks to the foods we are eating.

I have found age to be a contributor as well. I'm sure its due to a slow down in metabolism together with a slowdown in exercise but whatever it is certainly a contributor.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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Paul Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au fait, This is another one of your awesome articles which really opened my eyes about the causes of obesity. Yes, I knew that genetics played a great part in tendencies to be overweight, but was very surprised that gut bacteria had such a role to play. I guess I am incorrect in assuming that you are what you eat. Voted up as awesome, interesting, and useful. I am sharing this with my HP and Facebook followers.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

kitkat1141, thank you for reading, and commenting on this article! I'm not sure what determines the kind of bacteria one has in their gut, but I think probably region of the country, diet, and many other things are part of the equation. I will be surprised if one can manipulate their bacteria to any great extent beyond changing their diet, and I will be more surprised if doing as you say helps people to lose weight, but then again, it doesn't hurt to try . . .

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for sharing and G+ing this article! Hopefully people will start having more consideration for people who are overweight and realize no one chooses to be that way or enjoys being that way.

Let's hope this new year will be an improvement over last year for everyone. Wish it would start with some warmer temperatures . . . ;) I know it won't be long and I'll be complaining it's too warm. Wishing you and yours a great 2015!

kitkat1141 profile image

kitkat1141 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Very interesting article. I am particularly interested in the gut bacteria cause of obesity. I will check out the YouTube videos you suggested. I am wondering if taking a probiotic would help get better fat busting bacteria?

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a subject probably on many people's minds now that New Year's Resolutions are being made. Going to share this hub again and G+ it as well. Happy New Year to you! Hope it will be a good one!

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Aunt Jimi, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I have to agree that there are worse things than being fat. Instead of everyone griping about people's weight, why not criticize them instead for being mean spirited and selfish when that is apparent? That's if one must say anything at all.

I do think we should stand up to people who say ugly things to people because the people they are criticizing happen to be overweight or poor. Saying ugly things about people who may be doing the best they can isn't pretty either.

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Aunt Jimi 2 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

I'm wondering how I failed to see this hub of yours. Excellent work and I know it's true. It's terrible the way people say such mean things to overweight people. You would think being overweight was the worst thing anyone could be. What about the hate mongers I write about often times? Those people who deny poor people healthcare and food stamps. Why does anyone think being selfish and mean spirited is better than being overweight? Why does anyone think that lying and stealing and cheating is better than being overweight?

Lots of people can't help being overweight and assuming they are just lazy or eating too much junk food is simply ignorant, like it's anybody else's business.

I really think all those people out there who think they are so perfect should sweep their own porch first. When they no longer have any flaws, then look around and see who might benefit from their instruction on how to be perfect.

People who demean fat people are only showing their ignorance and arrogance. It's a lot easier to fix fat than it is to fix stupid and heartlessness. Why doesn't anyone ever call someone out for being selfish and heartless towards poor people, homeless people, and especially homeless veterans?

Excellent article and I'll be sharing it. Also voted up and all except funny.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for coming by, reviewing, and voting on and sharing this article. The list of things that make people fat without their knowledge is really much longer, but I thought I would give it a start so that people could see how far beyond control extra weight can be for some people. Instead of demeaning people who are overweight, people should be on their knees thanking God if they do not have a weight problem.

Danext profile image

Danext 2 years ago from Tanzania

Nice article!...Very informative and useful, i agree to some extent with the above points.......But whatever the cause if your obesity, anaerobic exercises are the solutions, if you're doing one and you don't see any changes then you have to increase the intensity of your exercises.....because the simple formula for being overweight is: Energy in-take is greater than Energy out-take.....

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Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I know how hard it is to try to keep the weight under control. This is a very useful hub and I had to come back to and re-read this.

Thumb-up, UAI and shared

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for commenting on this article. Yes, people need to know what all of these different things are that can add weight on. A little extra weight here, a little there, and before you know it . . .

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article!

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Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

This is such fascinating information and I think other people will want to know about these things that will make you fat. This really needs to be general information so people are better able to combat the effects of these issues on our health.

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Going to add this as a pin to my Do You Know This? board. Excellent article.

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Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for stopping by. Also for pinning this article. I hope you'll get the chance to check out my Wikinut articles. For now there aren't very many, but I'm hoping to have more time to add to them this coming summer. The one on plastic making people fat is something everyone should read. Just put C. E. Clark on Wikinut in the Google search box and it will take you to my profile there and some of my articles may be listed too. Thanks again, Peggy.

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Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I am going to have to read that article of yours on Wikinut. Pinning this to the Awesome Hubpages board.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for stopping by and putting this article on Tumblr. I don't have a TV or time to watch it, but I have seen photos and headlines of the winner of the Biggest Loser. Also, my driver watches it religiously, so I often hear about it. I think people are too preoccupied with superficial things and not concerned sufficiently about things that really matter. Hope things are going much better at your house than a few weeks ago!

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing this article and letting people know that sometimes the best they can do is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and learn to love themselves as they are. Just as important is letting the people around them know that excess weight isn't always about willpower.

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moonlake 3 years ago from America

Did you see the biggest loser winner? I thought she had lost way to much weight especially if a person looks 10 lbs. heavier on TV like they say. Came back for another read and will add this to my Tumblr.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This is the time of year when many people may be getting discouraged with their diets. I thought I would share this again so that people will realize that weight problems are not always due to poor willpower. Some things are beyond our control.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Moonlake, thank you for pinning this article! I hope your dog helps you keep the weight off too. With so much to do all the time, it really is hard to find the time and energy for watching calories and getting exercise regularly.

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moonlake 3 years ago from America

Came back to pin this hub to my diet board. Adopted a dog took him for a walk several times a day and the weight came off. Hope I can hold it off through the winter.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Glad you stopped by Bobby (Diogenes). Yes, a comfy bum can make the world seem right, can't it? ;) Everything looks better when one is sit-uated nicely. Take care . . . xoxo

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

This article has a life of its own! I usually cancel hubs when I've seen 'em several times, but I have left this one to watch the comments now and again...and your complete answers.

Happy today...just bought a nearly new office chair on Ebay for a fiver! The humble shall inherit a comfy bum...

Bob oxox

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Barbara Kay for stopping by and leaving a comment. I know people too, who always want to feed you when you visit them. :)

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thumbi7, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! I, too, was surprised to discover that pesticides as well as other things most people would never imagine, can cause a person to gain weight.

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Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA

That cat looks identical to my MIL cat. They are both just as fat. My MIL was one of those people that showed love by feeding you.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA

That cat looks identical to my MIL cat. They are both just as fat. My MIL was one of those people that showed love by feeding you.

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thumbi7 3 years ago from India

This is a very impressive list. I was not aware that pesticides can make you fat!!!

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for voting on and sharing this article!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, thank you for stopping by and sharing your information. Yes, it has been known for quite a while actually, that diabetes can cause either weight loss or weight gain. While many people suffer similar symptoms and consequences of diabetes, like everything else it does have varying affects in some cases. Medications for diabetes can also cause weight gain for some people.

If that's not bad enough, did you know drinking and eating from plastic containers makes some people fat? Practically everyone does that. See my article on Wikinut about that -- you can google me -- C. E. Clark on Wikinut and then find that article. I don't have that many articles on their yet so it won't take much effort to find the one on things that make you fat, and that article contains new information that isn't in this one.

Wasn't just meant kindly -- follow it. Attitude is everything. Take care, Bobby . . . xx

diogenes 3 years ago

Hiya darling' Just read this article and some of the responses again. I was interested to read elsewhere that possibly diabetics (type 11) have been castigated for years for putting on weight and causing their disease when much evidence now shows their diabetes CAUSED them to get fat!

I don't know how true this is, but it just shows again how all this cruel criticism is usually misplaced.


ps Thanks for kindly meant advice...Bob x

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Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This is such an informative hub. Everyone should be reading it.

Voted-up, UAI and shared.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you, Deborah-Diane, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I hope this article will help people to realize they are beautiful and worthwhile with many good traits and talents even if they are not stick thin cover girls/boys.

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Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

I have been successfully losing weight lately, so I am resending this one out to my friends, family and followers. Very encouraging info.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for sharing this article! The worst part is when people shame others for their excess weight when they can't help it because of a disease they have or medication they must take.

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Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This is so informative, and will help a lot of people feel less guilty about their weight. I'm sharing this again with my followers. Thanks!

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for sharing this article! Yes, I learned recently that a product that is used frequently by adults and children alike is believed to be causing weight gain, along with a lot of other adverse affects. I was going to add it to this hub but instead I wrote a new article and published it on Wikinut. There's a link just above the reference section in this hub to that article.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Rose-the-planner for reading and sharing your experience and thoughts on this issue!

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rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

This is a great article! You have provided some very important information. I personally know of people who struggle with their weight because of other health issues. It annoys me when insensitive and ignorant individuals criticize or ridicule overweight people without considering the possibility that they may be suffering from other health issues causing their weight gain. Thank you for sharing such valuable information, as always. Take care and have a lovely evening. -Rose

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Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

You are most welcome!

It is amazing what they keep discovering with regard to science. Hopefully it can all be put to good use in the future. Sharing this again! :)

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for tweeting this hub!

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Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Came back for another visit. This time going to give it a tweet so that more people can read this good hub of yours.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for reading, voting, and sharing this article, and especially for sharing your experience on this subject. People need to know that there are real people with real issues that prevent then from being pencil thin. I think they also need to know that what they like to assume is fat may not be. A lot of things can cause fluid retention.

Medications and other issues can cause fluid retention. Rarely do people who like to be critical of the overweight recognize that the excess weight some people have is in fact fluid retention and not fat. Still, a lot of people feel comfortable with their poor attitude towards people who really can't help their situation. Even doctors are often guilty of this. They see a large person and do not stop to wonder why that person is large or whether it's actually fat or something else, and do not consider the many things that can cause fat or fluid retention. But they get to feel smug in their assumption that they are better -- until it happens to them.

I think you are fortunate to have done so well all these years with your heart problem. I truly hope you will be here to add your wisdom through your hubs and comments for many more years to come.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I got to thinking about what age was I when my weight came on and I was a little over weight at 38 but not much. I had two heart attacks at that age and the doctor said he had to give me enough medication that a 200 lb. man would take. He also had me change to drink diet sodas that's when I got addicted to diet drinks. I exercised and at the hospital they showed me exactly what to eat. I have had this heart problem for 30 years this year. I have seen many dietitian though the years but still I struggle. I know when I had stents put in two years ago and some of my medication stopped. I lost one shoe size so I do think the medication and the fluid from my heart causes a lot of my weight problem. I think your right in the medication problem. Had to come back for a visit. Voted up and shared.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

mperrottet, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub, for voting on it, sharing it, and especially for adding valuable information and perspective with your thoughts.

I have heard obesity referred to before as a disease, and in some respects for some people, that is true. We hear about people who have genetic diseases that they're born with, and for some people, the predisposition to be obese is just one more.

Eventually a test will probably be developed that will determine what is causing the obesity problem so that a person will know how much diet and exercise is going to affect their weight and what to expect. That doesn't mean people who have no hope of losing a lot of weight shouldn't try to eat healthfully and exercise, etc., because even obese people can improve their health and extend their lives by living as healthfully as they can. They just may not have the possibility of ever being slim, or even what is now considered 'normal' size.

I think doctors are already paid for counseling people about their weight since it is believed that excess weight contributes to many health problems. Years ago already, some doctors were specializing in weight loss and control.

I dislike using drugs for losing weight and I really think diet control, exercise, sufficient sleep, and self discipline are the best way to go. I know it sounds easier than it is. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago and it was hard work and at times very discouraging.

My main concern with this issue is to educate people to the fact that obesity can have many different causes, and more of them than people think are currently beyond most people's control. In fact a new cause of obesity that probably affects 80% or more of our population has recently been brought to my attention and I need to update this article.

The purpose of educating people to realize that obesity is more often than they think beyond the control of its victims is so that people will stop making overweight people feel worse than they already do. Stop piling on, being rude, being mean and hurtful, and stop victimizing these people. I have never known anyone who set out to be overweight or who enjoyed being that way.

But for the grace of God, any of us might inherit the fat gene or some disease that requires medication that will cause weight gain. Whether we do or not, for sure we have a few other imperfections, because that is the human condition. To think that other serious imperfections are somehow better than obesity because they may be easier to hide or more acceptable to society because they are considered a disease or a genetic disorder beyond a person's control is wishful thinking.

We all need to try to be a little kinder, a little more understanding, and a little more tolerant. Everyone has their burdens to bear and so we can all make those burdens a little easier for each other by treating others as we want to be treated.

Some weight problems are actually the result of low self-esteem. Love and kindness goes much further in correcting low self-esteem than jeering and sneers and ugly rude remarks. Eventually, though not likely in yours or my lifetime, I'm sure there will be a solution to weight problems regardless of what is causing them, but for now, we need to try to be understanding and considerate of everyone no matter what size they happen to be.

Body size does not determine creative or intellectual ability, nor is it a reflection of character. I don't remember weight being quite so big an issue when I was growing up. Now, if you think about it, obesity is right up there with communism.

What makes anyone think they have the right to comment on another person's weight, or anything else about another person's body?

People who have weight issues would likely benefit if obesity is officially classified as a disease. It might allow them to qualify for various programs that they don't qualify for now. That's something I really don't know for sure, but it seems like a possibility to me. While it would take time, eventually people will be more accepting of the condition if they are convinced it is a disease and not simply bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

But the fact is that even if someone is obese because of bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, it's no one else's business and no one has the right to make judgments about that person or share those judgments with that person or deride and demean that person because they believe themselves to be somehow superior.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Paul Kuehn, for reading, voting on, sharing on HP and FB, tweeting, pinning and for sharing your experience with this issue. Genetics plays a big part in weight. Like I said, some people can think about food and gain weight while others can eat like a horse and lose weight, and there are people that are affected in every way in between.

The kind of food one eats and how much various with individuals as to the affect for the reason stated above. Genetics determines how hard or easy it is going to be to gain or lose weight. That's true for everybody.

mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Great fact filled article, and I think a very pertinent one considering the AMA's recent classification of obesity as a disease. I'm not sure how I feel about that decision. I think the idea behind it was to make sure that physicians will be paid for taking the time to counsel patients on weight control. However, I'm wondering if it will put so much emphasis on being a certain weight, that it will put even more pressure on people to simply lose weight (perhaps through pills) rather than to focus on being healthy and to accept their weight even if it's not the ideal. I'm curious what you think about this. Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing.

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Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au fait,

This is an awesome hub which is definitely well-researched and very interesting and useful. Both of my parents were never overweight when they were younger, but my brother, sisters, and I have been overweight for much of our lives. About the only time I wasn't overweight was when I was in high school and engaged in sports. I remember, though, eating too much bakery and fried foods when I was younger. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

phdast7: Thank you Theresa, for reading and sharing your experience and your thoughts on this subject.

Personally, while I believe everyone should do their best to live a healthful lifestyle, I think genetics works the same way with weight as it does with eye color. We can struggle all of our lives to find a natural way to change the color of our eyes but at this time it isn't likely to happen. Same with weight.

The only way to fight genetics on the issue of weight is to stop eating (or risk death via lap band surgery) and then we die. Is that a win? I don't think so.

I think we need to accept ourselves and others for who we and they are and as I said, live the most healthful lifestyle we can, but stop struggling with something that we can't change and stop sneering at people who didn't have the good judgment to choose thin parents.

I had a great aunt who was buried in a piano case because she wouldn't fit in a coffin. I worry constantly that I inherited that gene as many of my other ancestors and close relatives are overweight too. I have a niece who weighs 400 pounds. No one chooses to weigh that much. It is a lifelong battle for many people and piling on by people who are lucky to have inherited 'skinny' genes doesn't make anything better.

Thanks again for sharing your situation and know that I, and hopefully all of my readers, wish you only the greatest success in managing your health issues.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Elias Zanetti, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub and for your high praise!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Very interesting and informative. Almost everyone in my family, three generations at least, has been heavy to obese. So that is where I started, of course I eat too much and too often which compounds the weight problem. And eight years ago I had a stroke (tachycardia related) and due to nerve and muscle damage my physical activity had been very limited, which also compounds the problem. Swimming is easy on my joints and gives my muscles a workout so I swim twice a week if at all possible. Thank you for a balanced and thoughtful Hub. Theresa

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Interesting, well researched and informative hub. Genetic build can be a crusial factor in obesity issues yet people shouldn't use it as an excuse. A healthy diet accompanied by regular exercise can have wonderful results in one's life.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

I can be wordy at times, can't I? Returns are terrible. All was going well from the election until a couple of months ago, and then the views suddenly dropped through the floor . . .

You just have no idea what a paragon I am Bobby . . . ;) Glad you are well and back again. Take care . . xx

diogenes 3 years ago

Hi babe: Just reread this excellent article. I trust you are getting good returns from your work, apart from the satisfaction you deserve. I recently read your caring comment to my comment...almost stood as a hub itself!

You're quite a girl, Missy!

R x

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for pinning this article!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Midget38, thank you for stopping by!

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Levertis Steele, thank you for reading, voting on, and sharing this article, and especially for sharing your experience with this issue. I, too, had a friend and former classmate who died as a result of the lap band surgery. She had been extremely overweight all of her life, and I suspect genetics played a big part in her condition, as it did with her parents and siblings.

As all women know, death is preferable to being overweight. Better to be dead than fat. If any woman doesn't know this basic rule, gain a few pounds and learn it the hard way.

Today even Olympic medalists and pregnant women are criticized in our press if they weigh even a tiny percentage of one ounce more than is deemed perfection. Looking sexy should always be first and foremost in a woman's mind and in her life. If she can't manage pregnancy or Gold Medals and be HOT and sexy too, then she needs forget about the pregnancy and the Gold Medals.

Women are here to decorate this planet and to satisfy men sexually, no exceptions, and nothing else, so healthy babies be damned, and accomplishments beyond sexual availability and sexual prowess be damned too!

A sad state of affairs in this country.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Now that I have a Pinterest going to pin this to my health board. I see that you are getting lots of comments on this interesting hub.

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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Barbara Kay, and for leaving a comment!

I thought when I started to read your comment that you were going to say the picture of the fat cat reminded you of your mother-in-law. ;)

Yes, studies show that fat people live longer after a heart attack than thin people do. So maybe the fat isn't as much of a problem as was initially believed. Science has had to change its mind on a lot of different things over the years, and if you notice it seem to be backing and forthing on the effect of coffee. Some say it's good for you, some say it's bad. ?? Who to believe?

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Mary615, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Thank you also for sharing your personal experience on this issue. Lots of people are predisposed through genetics to being overweight and some are better able to deal with it than others, and how hard it is to manage it is also genetic. Some bodies are more easily managed than others and it all comes down to our genetic makeup in so many cases.

Glad you were able to get your weight under control and I wonder if genes didn't play a part in that too? Our bodies change over time and we may experience times when it's easy to lose or maintain our weight and the next phase may be just the opposite. Thank you again for sharing your experience!

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midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Sharing on the Muses from the Deep Gazette, Stephanie.

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Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

Au fait,

You are wise! I wonder why so few people know that overeating is not the cause of all obesity? Many obese people almost starve themselves trying to please insensitive people who downgrade them. One of my best friends died because she chose to undergo a surgery that was to help her to lose weight. She lost her life as a result. She was a beautiful, talented, loving, hardworking person who gave sacrificially to help others. She was a community servant who loved earnestly and went out of her way to help elderly and other disadvantaged people to have a more comfortable, meaningful life. She gave her heart, her time, her car, and her money if she could not raise enough to accomplish any missions she undertook. No one ever complained that her heart was too big. She wore many hats, and so many people, young and old, adored her. She had a countenance of innocence and a smile that would brighten anyone's day. These were winning traits that prompted many to befriend and trust her. She was only 30ish. Her life was not in vain because she touched so many in special ways. She left lasting impressions. How can losing hard-to-shed pounds be more important than my friends mission on Earth?

Yes, it is important to maintain a desirable weight or lose pounds if it is attainable, but we must not permit ourselves to be guilty of pushing others across the line. We should Love them or leave them alone in their peace.

Some individuals have committed suicide because they could not deal with hateful criticism of their obesity. Others have lost spouses who decided to dump them for thinner ones. "Through thick and thin" becomes meaningless for some.

Artificial sugars cause weight gain? My! That’s good to know.

This is certainly a loaded, well-written hub. Thanks for sharing it. I am voting up, clicking positive buttons, and sharing.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA

I love the fat cat photo. My mother-in-law had a cat that looked like that. The cat lived a long, full life even though it was overweight.

Good job on the hub.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Wow! I am so impressed by the amount of work and research you put into this Hub.

I have four daughters, and they battle the weight issue all the time. I truly believe the problem is in our genes in our family. I had a weight problem for years until I learned how to control my eating habits and diet. Now I am fortunate that I don't gain weight easily.

Voted this Hub UP etc. and will certainly share.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Tilsontitan, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub, and for voting it up, etc. I hope you're right, that people will think several times before being critical of overweight people, and especially before jeering or sneering at them. I really think body shaming has gone too far. Thanks again for checking this hub out!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your personal experience with this subject and for the votes. I know you are not fat and I doubt you ever have been, but it only takes one ancestor 3 generations back who is carrying the fat gene (whether dominant or recessive) to pass that gene on to offspring. The person who carries the gene as a recessive gene may show no signs of having it, but will sneakily pass it on to their offspring who may be afflicted or may also carry it as a recessive gene. It may be passed as a recessive gene for several generations before it rears it's fat head! But when it does, it will make maintaining a 'normal' weight much more difficult and maybe even impossible.

Thank you for your high praise Shyron! I'm looking forward to more great hubs from you too . . . :)

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

khmazz, thank you for commenting on this hub. I hope the information here will make people stop and think before the criticism rolls off their tongues and the disapproving looks settle on their faces.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

I think this hub will encourage a bit more understanding of people who are "fat" and don't seem to be doing anything about it. I think age contributes to weight gain up to a point as well.

Your research is always so impeccable and comprehensive that I know when I read one of your hubs I am learning a lot of facts!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Linda Compton for commenting on this hub.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Au fait, this is one of your best hubs, I know you did a lot of research and we your gentle readers are the ones who benefit. I don't know if (fat) is in my genetics, mom was tiny, grandma(s) both were heavy, grandpa(s) skinny. I can gain weight from the smell of some foods.

Voted up UAI

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Arun Kanti, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub and for sharing it also.

I think it is important for people to do their best to eat healthfully, and get enough exercise and sleep no matter what their genetic predisposition. One can be healthy and overweight, and one can also be healthier and overweight. No need to make things worse than they are, but I do think people should be more considerate and kind to people who are overweight.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

KenWu, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this article! If genetics can determine your hair, skin, and eye color, you intelligence and you ability to fight off disease, how short or tall you will be, then why not how easily you gain weight?

Again, many thanks!

khmazz profile image

khmazz 3 years ago from South Florida

Great information and a good eye opener to this subject! voted up!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you, Clyde, for stopping by to read and comment on this hub. I wouldn't want to say you are doomed, but in the event you can't find a diet/exercise plan that helps you to maintain a reasonably healthy weight I think it's nice if people don't jeer at you, and ridicule you when you walk out the door into the public sphere (or at home either).

My main purpose with this article is not to promote obesity, but to get those people who enjoy saying ugly things and making overweight people feel bad to stop it, and to realize everyone may not be able to maintain a 'normal' weight so easily if at all.

Everyone should have a healthful diet and get exercise and plenty of sleep. When they do that, often times the weight problem will become manageable, but if it doesn't, I do not believe they should be subjected to a life sentence or ridicule and sneers from the pencils and toothpicks out there.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Nicole S for stopping by and leaving a comment. I really hope this article does make people stop and think.

Linda Compton profile image

Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

Dear Au Fait,

This is a very thorough and thoughtful hub. Thank you! Another significant culprit is oxidative stress and inflammation. The down side I see to saying "being fat is not your fault" is that it can carry the tacit message that "therefore you aren't responsible and can't do anything about it." This can be so dis-empowering and disheartening, when in fact there are things we can do. Happily, cold-processed, dark chocolate is one of them. It is the number one superfood for antioxidant value and can help significantly with weight loss by reducing inflammation in our bodies. I work with a company that was featured on the cover of the Bariatric Journal of Medicine. The woman who founded the company lost 120 lbs on this chocolate. So while we are deepening our compassion and realizing there are SO MANY reasons that factor in, let's also educate ourselves about healthy lifestyle choices and changes and take control of what we can. One way to do that (if you enjoy chocolate) is to change your chocolate, from the "bad" overly processed kind to healthy, cold-processed chocolate and enhance your health. Voted way up!

ARUN KANTI profile image

ARUN KANTI 3 years ago from KOLKATA

Excellent and well researched hub with vital information. While one can exercise control by various measures as indicated really hapless are the genetically obese persons who are often derided for no fault of theirs.Further the parents of such fat children can not always restrain them from taking crispy foods full of fat thus increasing their obesity. Thanks for sharing.

KenWu profile image

KenWu 3 years ago from Malaysia

Genetics....hmm, this one really puzzles me... sometimes I believe into this and sometimes I don't...

Bacteria makes us fat.. oh boy, the first time I read about this....

The more I read it, the more it makes me scare. Pesticides, this and that... gosh... what is happening in our world.

Got to really look into my diet.

Voted up and everything except funny and shared too.

Clyde 3 years ago

WOW! you really did a lot of research. I guess I am doomed. I am the kind of person who can gain just by looking at food. I love ice cream even the no sugar add is cause for gaining weight.

Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 3 years ago from Minnesota

Very interesting, it really makes you think!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

JayeWisdom, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub. There are some things on this list one can try to control. Organic food may help if you can afford it. I know, pay now or pay later, but if you literally do not have the money, then you do what you can with what you've got. In my nutrition class at the university it was pointed out that junk food is not only more convenient and quick, but it's cheaper. Overweight people tend to also be poor people because they can't afford better quality food or the education and time required to eat more healthfully.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

Excellent and very informative hub, Au fait. There are so many reasons that contribute to weight gain! Some, such as genetics, are beyond our control. However, we can exercise control over such things as avoiding pesticide residue and unsafe food additives by eating organically-grown foods. Thanks for a terrific article.

Voted Up+++


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting Shryon. I hope this hub can help people realize that everyone has shortcomings, no one is perfect, and even if a person is thin and not susceptible to verbal abuse and contempt for their body size, they may have other even more abhorrent traits or habits. The important thing is to be kind.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for all the votes and for sharing. There is a lot of good information packed into this hub and I hope people will become enlightened so they will treat each other more nicely and so they will hopefully relieve some of the stress that being overweight causes, both because no one enjoys being overweight, and because society frowns heavily on it.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you girishpuri, for reading and commenting on this hub. May God bless you also . . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Sneha Sunny, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and especially for sharing this hub! It was news to me too, regarding the gut bacteria, but I learned a lot of new things researching this topic.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Sharingknowledge, thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Brett.Tesol for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing, pinning, tweeting this hub! Yes, I learned a lot of new things in the course of researching this hub too.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DeborahNeyens for reading and commenting on this hub. It's true that most people do not know why someone they are demeaning or thinking badly of is overweight, but regardless of the reason, even if it really is because they shovel food into their mouths 24/7, what reason is that to demean someone?

Is the person doing the demeaning so perfect? Could we not demean them in turn for lying, shoplifting, cheating on their taxes, being unnecessarily rude, and the list goes on. None of us is perfect. Once we have accomplished self-perfection, then is the time to start pointing our fingers at others who are still falling short . . .

. . . making people feel badly about themselves only makes them want to spend more time alone and most of the time they eat more. So even though some people feel better after they have ruined someone else's day, they have added nothing positive to this world.

Thx for stopping!

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This is a hub that all people should read. It would help a lot of people with deal with weight gain.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cre8ivOne, thank you for stopping by.

girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Very informative and useful for many people, thanks for sharing. God bless.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

vespawoolf, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub. I think it would not be out of the question to say that some 50% of obese people are not at fault for their condition because of issues beyond their control.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Kathryn Stratford, thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts. I agree entirely. We all want to be healthy and make reasonable efforts to eat healthful foods and live a healthful lifestyle, but for some people it really isn't that easy. So many women will tell you if asked, that being fat is worse than being dead. Their outlook is due entirely to societal attitude. Very sad.

Sneha Sunny profile image

Sneha Sunny 3 years ago from India

That's interesting.... I didn't knew that gut bacteria too can make us fat! This is a very interesting hub! I enjoyed reading..

Thanks for sharing.... Useful, interesting and shared!

sharingknowledge profile image

sharingknowledge 3 years ago from Miami, FL

Ooo. Since my target is yo grow fatter, then those are the things I must try out Lol. Thanks for the Hub and sharing.

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 3 years ago from Thailand

Wow, that was an extremely well researched article! There are so many things that can make you fat, but one I hadn't considered is 'Pesticides'.

Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and interesting.

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Great information. I think there is a lot of discrimination against overweight people and a lot of it is due to misconceptions.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for reading, commenting, voting, and sharing this hub. And thank you for sharing your experience with dieting. I think eating healthful food, limiting the junk food, and getting enough exercise and sleep (remember Not Enough Sleep Will Make You Fat!) is the most important thing so that whatever size you are, you're healthy.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you prasetio30 for stopping by and leaving a comment! I do hope people will realize that but for the grace of God, they too might find themselves overweight and miserable. Thanks for the vote and yes, I do try to make my hubs educational. Thank you for noticing!

cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 3 years ago from Midwest, USA

Nice article! I am guilty of diet drinks, I really need to kick the habit!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I've heard about some of these factors making people fat (like artificial sweeteners, cortisol, etc.) but I'd never considered bacteria in the gut affecting absorption of nutrients and body weight. That totally makes sense. Very well-written article and interesting to read. Voted up and shared!

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

There you go again. You always teaching us new and interesting things. Great hub my friend. Voted up!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

moonlake, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! And thank you especially for sharing.

I'm sorry to hear that dieting isn't going well. The best way to get results with dieting is to eat low/no calorie foods (vegetables) like crazy so your body won't feel deprived and put on the brakes. If your body feels even slightly as if it's going to be starved it will make losing every ounce torture. Also, replacing the artificial sweeteners with sugar can be an issue.

The main problem with artificial sweeteners is that they increase your appetite. If you can discipline yourself not to give in to any cravings or desire for more food, especially unhealthful fattening foods, then artificial sweeteners may work OK for you. Know what the issue is (increased appetite) can help you guard against it happening to you.

Good luck!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you rajan jolly, for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! You have yourself written so many hubs packed with important information and written them well, so I am indeed honored to receive such high praise from you for this article.

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

Au fait, I just read your really long comment, and I was shocked to hear about how your classmate died from the lap band surgery. That really makes me sad. It's healthy to not be obese, but at the same time, going through drastic measures like that is risky. It's sad that someone would take that risk out of feeling so bad for herself, just to die from it.

It would be nice if society took some of the pressure off of people, and accept them. Everyone is beautiful to some people, and if we could just realize that instead of trying to impress those who think we're ugly, it would be easier.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

rasta1, thank you for stopping by and reading/commenting on this hub!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! I don't know if this hub takes away hope, but I HOPE it surly will take away the stress and create a bit more empathy and compassion for people who desperately want to be thin, but nothing works for them.

One of my classmates who was fat all of her life wanted so much to be 'normal' and have a husband and family of her own. A couple of years ago she had the lap-band surgery that is so popular here right now. She died.

I realize a lot of people have the surgery safely and love the results, but I am a person who disapproves of invasive procedures when they are not absolutely necessary. I really think if God wanted us to eat less than a starving bird only once every 3 days we would have been born with a 'lap band' in our hand for future use.

My classmate was grossly overweight all of her life, but she was ALIVE. Now, she is dead because of the pressures and unreasonable criticism society heaped on her. What is the point of making people who already feel badly about themselves feel worse?

Who among us is so perfect and special that we are qualified to criticize someone for being overweight? I say look in the mirror, make oneself perfect, and when that has been accomplished start working on the people around you.

I know you are an atheist, but I am not. God said it is not what goes in your mouth that is the problem, but what comes out of your mouth. He meant the ugly hurtful words that perfect people hurl at their less perfect friends and neighbors.

I think with less pressure on yourself, you would be very successful in finding someone who would 'have you.' Everyone runs from needy, desperate people, so be sure you're not projecting that image. Get involved in things you enjoy, let your enjoyment show, and do not make too much effort to 'connect.' With the right attitude (just there to have fun, not to score) ladies will be inviting YOU. Guess I need to write a hub on attracting the opposite sex -- one of the things I've studied fairly extensively in PSYC. Attitude can make ALL the difference no matter what the goal.

Regarding obesity and overweight, if your genetics dictate that you will have blue eyes, I guarantee you that reading more or reading less will not change their color. Neither will anything you eat. In fact, I know of nothing short of tinted contact lenses that will change their color and even that is just smoking mirrors. Not a real change.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can wear to make yourself look 50 or more pounds lighter. Nothing will change your eye color, and if you are predisposed to be overweight, or to turn the very thought of food into reality on your belly or backside, there is little you can do about it. Just try to eat good nutritious food and get enough exercise and rest so that at least you will be as healthy as possible for your weight.

Note that overweight people who suffered heart attacks recovered more quickly and lived longer than thin people who had heart attacks in most cases.

Society has been dictating what we are supposed to find attractive and desirable. Why not think things through logically and forget what society says you should think and want? Why not decide for yourself after some serious thought? There are some very sexy large women out there . . . and some women over 50 who look pretty good too. If you expect women to look past your extra weight and white hairs, maybe you should consider doing the same for them.

Hope you are well Bobby. You're one of my favorite authors, so take care of yourself! xoxox

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Kathryn Stratford for reading, commenting on, and especially sharing this hub. Eating better quality food (no pesticides, herbicides, or other added chemicals) is always better for your health whether you have a predisposition towards extra weight gain or not.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

Au fait, as with all you hubs this one is most informative, awesome, useful and interesting. Will share.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I stopped all artificial sweeteners, no diet drinks, nothing. I gained at least 5 lbs. now I'm struggling to get it off. I'm thinking very seriously about going back on artificial sweeterners.

Very good article voted up and shared.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is a huge list of things that can make us fat. Excellent research and a very impressive write. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

So this is why my diet is not working! I simply have very efficient bacteria at work. Ha! You have compiled some serious work here in producing this hub. I do not mean to make fun of it. As you have referenced, it is not easy to lose or keep excess weight off. Thank heavens that there are some good things to be said about carrying a little excess weight!

The studies done with mice are interesting. Voting this UUI and will happily share.

rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

You basically covered all the major points. a very informative hub.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

When Missy wields the quill, the world stops and reads - or it should.

Take me, for example (please, no one else will!). I had a chubby grandpaw and a normal grandma, mum's side. A thin dad and a fat mum. I have been normal-ish until I was older, now I have put on weight...I am a sort of healthy fat, if you know what I mean.

Your hub makes all sorts of sense...even if it does take the last hope we had for many of us!

Life is just to complicated for anyone to deal with, ain't it?

I will send this hub to a few people I know.

The obeast


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

Your articles are so full of information! I like that you provided us with knowledge of what makes people likely to be fat.

Although some people are overweight mostly because of their diet and lack of exercise, it is definitely true that many have other reasons, and some people can't help it. Some people are "lucky" to have a healthy metabolism (I have for much of my life until recently), and sometimes those people don't realize how hard it is to have a slower metabolism, or medication that makes it hard to maintain weight. Thanks for educating us about all of this. Maybe it'll enlighten people, so that they try making healthier choices, such as cutting out diet drinks, or eating foods that are not as processed.

I am going to share this, because it is a topic that many people struggle with.

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