Dr. Ayala, a pediatric and medical genetics physician in Philadelphia, discussed on her blog the connection between genetics, lifestyle, and the risk of being overweight or obese. The gene most widely associated with the propensity to be overweight or obese is the FTO gene on chromosome 16. Specifically, Ayala writes, “the presence of specific ‘risky’ versions of this gene is correlated with an extra 3 pounds for each risk-increasing copy (we have 2 copies of each gene).” She makes it clear, however, that being overweight or obese is only part of the equation. Eating habits, lifestyle, and other environmental factors also play a vital role. Read Dr. Ayala’s insights on the genetic testing of obesity and, as she puts it, “genetically discovering yourself — and then what?”

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