Daughter DNA OverweightThere is a good deal of confusion about understanding what DNA test results tell you about yourself. It’s important to get the facts straight and have a clear understanding of your DNA makeup and what it actually means.

Some Background

Your DNA test results reflect your genetic predisposition for certain traits. The results describe your odds to possess a trait, but do not reflect a deterministic destiny – DNA testing is not a scientific crystal ball. Let’s take the expression of a particular trait — for example, the tendency to gain weight. Your weight is significantly influenced by your genetic makeup. But, and this will come as no surprise to anyone, your weight is also influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. Diet and exercise, of course, play a tremendous part in determining how much you weigh.

What is important to understand is that awareness of your genetic makeup will help you to make smarter choices about what you eat, what you drink, where you live, how you live, how active you are and other influential factors. Instead of wondering why the guy in the gym who works out less and drinks Coke is still boasting a healthier BMI than you, you can get some scientific insights to that from your DNA. Your DNA is important – it is the starting point for your lifestyle strategy.

Myth Busting

Myth Number 1: “I am overweight. Too bad it’s genetic and there is nothing I can do.”

Truth: Your DNA test results may indicate that you carry a genetic predisposition for being overweight. Yet, the expression of this particular trait (phenotype) is influenced not only by your genetic makeup but also by environmental and lifestyle factors. That means you can do something about it – specific changes to your diet and exercise routines can make an impact. And we are not talking about simple calorie reduction and more frequent exercise. You can actually match the type of diet you maintain with your DNA!

Myth Number 2: “My DNA indicates that I have a tendency to become overweight, therefore my kids will inherit it and be fat.”

Truth: If you are genetically inclined to be overweight, your children may be at a higher risk. But your child’s DNA makeup is inherited from BOTH parents. Testing their DNA will reveal their genetic tendency.  Armed with the DNA information, you can make scientific based choices about your child’s diet and lifestyle.  According to a new report, the obesity rate may rise to 42 percent by 2030. Obesity is an epidemic — but it is not because more of us are genetically predisposed to obesity than we were 30 years ago. The epidemic is a result of more of us turning on our genetic tendency to be overweight through eating the wrong diet and not getting the right physical activity.  Knowing your child is inclined to gain weight if given a diet that feeds that inclination will allow you to make better choices for him.