Ask a Nurse: Weight gain and genetics

We have all heard the phrase, “I will always be overweight; it’s in my genes!” Well, according to an article on the Mayo Clinic website in June of 2013, “Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and other diseases and conditions.” However, with Prader-Willi syndrome’s prevalence of approximately 1:15,000 children, there must be a better explanation for the obesity epidemic.

Further research has been and is being conducted on the genetic factors that may predispose one to the battle of obesity. In a study conducted by the Departments of Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge in 2006, they concluded that “the evidence we have to date suggests that the major impact of genes on human obesity is just as likely (or perhaps more likely) to directly impact hunger, satiety and food intake rather than metabolic rate or nutrient partitioning.”

With that being said, there are now genetic tests available that analyze your DNA through your saliva. Pathway Genomics (a genetic testing laboratory based in San Diego, CA) offers the Healthy Weight DNA InsightSM, which analyzes genes associated with diet, nutrition and exercise as well as your response to specific medications and weight-related health conditions. For more information on genetic testing, email me at

Happy New Year, and may 2014 bring you health and happiness.

This column is sponsored by Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging


BIO: Hollie Hill is a critical care nurse and co-creator of Perfect Form Center for Wellness & Anti-Aging in Winter Haven. When Hollie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, and is a perpetual student of her profession.

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