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Overeaters not powerless in face of their genes

December 19, 2008
by Greenville News Editorial Board
The Greenville News

New research is finding more evidence that some people are genetically predisposed to overeat, and so they're more likely to become obese because of their genes. Two international studies suggest that the genetic impact on appetite and eating behavior may be more important that any genetic influence on how the body uses and burns up fat.

The research has particular relevance in South Carolina, which has been designated the fifth-fattest state in the nation, according to the Trust for America's Health. About two-thirds of South Carolinians are overweight, and almost 28 percent of adults are obese.

Obesity among children is a real problem as well, taking a serious toll on health. Children with excess pounds are at risk of diabetes, asthma and hypertension. They're also susceptible to a wide array of injuries, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, depression, poor self-esteem and academic problems in school. Equally of concern is that overweight children often become overweight adults, susceptible to life-shortening illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

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