Our genetics may be a blueprint, but they do not determine entirely who we are and what life we live.
Thanks to our individual genetic code, every person is anatomically different, with a unique way of responding to the environment. For instance, did you know that when a family sits down to enjoy dinner, each person actually tastes a different dinner because of the distinct distribution of taste receptors in the tongue.
Taste receptors can have a big impact on overeating or not eating enough. A study by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has shown that small variations in our genetic code can raise or lower our sensitivity to sweet tastes. This can also explain why some people struggle with a ‘sweet tooth’.
There is definitely a relationship between genetics and a predisposition for food addiction and preferences, but genetics is not necessarily destiny.
Scientists have come to realize that while the blueprint for a building is fixed and consistent, our DNA blueprint is only partially fixed some parts are still malleable and responsive to our current environment. In other words, if your ancestors made bad health choices, you can still make good ones to rectify them. And as much as your ancestry’s lifestyle choices affect you, the same can be said for your choices affecting your future bloodline. Soon you will be the ancestor that future generations are researching.
A healthy lifestyle can make a difference not only for you, but also for your progeny. Lifestyle choices like eating too much or smoking can not only put your own health at risk but can also predispose your children to disease and early death. Ultimately, genetics play a role in our health, but each person still has the power to lead a healthy lifestyle and overcome those unhealthy genetics, as well as making new, healthy genetics for future offspring.