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Old 01-31-2006, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default Being supersized, is it related to genes?

Something I said on the WLS controversy board reminded me of a pet theory of mine. I wonder if anyone would research this because I think there may be some "weight" (no pun intended) to it!

I have noticed that most of the supersized people I have known/met seem to be of northern European origin, ethnically. I have met very few supersized Meditteranean folks, or Asians, or African-Americans. Granted there are some, but MOST of the really big people (well over 350 lbs) seem to be of German and English descent.

Could it be the types of food those cultures eat? Or could it be more likely something in their genes that lends toward being supersized if the right "buttons" are "pushed"? Or could it be the different way such cultures view food? My husband's family is of German/English ancestry and his sister is around 380 lbs...his grandmothers were also that size. I notice that people of those ethnicities tend to view food as something you eat more of when you are depressed, and you eat less when you are happy. Whereas in Meditteranean and Jewish cultures, you eat less when you are depressed/sad/mourning, and you eat more when celebrating or happy.

Any thoughts on all of this?
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:59 AM   #2
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Well I don't know - but I'm Half German - Half Italian.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:01 AM   #3
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That's interesting that you say this. As a woman of color I do know that genetically African Americans have bigger bodies- from our hips to our behinds, we are just fuller. Even if you look at some skinny brown chicks they still more than likely have a booty. Most of the women in my family are heavy- I think it's a culmination of the culture and attitude about our bodies. African Americans tend to eat 'soul food'- it's southern fatty, comfort food that really do pack on the pounds. More importantly, African American men tend to like their women thicker or more voluptuous than most...They like hips, legs, breasts but with curves on top of more curves. In fact, to be called 'thick' is a compliment. I have skinny friends who desperately want to gain some weight, because in my community it's a sign of attractiveness.

So, I guess it purely depends on who you've had contact with. I don't know very many people of German or English heritage, but I know quite a few Meditteraneans- My maternal Grandfather is. And yes, the women on that side are heavy as well.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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I just say my genetics were to help society live through a Potato Famine.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:36 AM   #5
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England doesn't consider themselves part of Europe and Germany is really closer to the middle of Europe, and my nearly 600 pound wife is an African American woman, although she was born in St Thomas, Virgin Islands.
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Old 01-31-2006, 10:49 AM   #6
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I think that you might have a point there, I am of German, Scottish, Dutch, Czech and Ojibwa Indian ancestors. And most of the people in my family are on the hefty side.

I can tell you the foods may have something to do with it, but I think a lot of it is in the DNA and the physical make-up of the nationality.

I have to face it, I am from a line of warriors and they were all big people....
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:39 PM   #7
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Interesting topic. Hmmmmm, I am Scot, Irish and Cherokee mixture from WAY back in the early 1700s. I have a statement about one ancester named Marmaduke Lamb originally from Scotland where he was described as "a truely large man over 400 pounds with a huge intellect and contagious humor."

LOL! I told this to Sandy Sabo-Russo once and she said, "SOUNDS JUST LIKE YOU, KARA!" LOL!

So, my genes are attributing to my SUPER SIZE and SUPER Personality! Ha!
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FitChick
I notice that people of those ethnicities tend to view food as something you eat more of when you are depressed, and you eat less when you are happy. Whereas in Meditteranean and Jewish cultures, you eat less when you are depressed/sad/mourning, and you eat more when celebrating or happy.
I'm screwed; I eat more happy or sad.

Seriously, though....I thought that there were lots of supersize black folks? And I wonder about behavior over nature...like Sumo wrestlers. Most of their countrymen are of small stature, yet through behavior they are supersized. So I guess what I am saying is that a racially genetic predisposition may be there, but habits will determine supersizeness? And a genetic predisposition isn't necessary for supersizeness?

Reading this, I didn't say much at all, did I? I can sit on a fence better than a politician.
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:54 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=ripley]I'm screwed; I eat more happy or sad.
QUOTE]

haha.. that's what *I* was thinking.
My dad is German... my mom's side ... eh... Hinez 57 as far as I know..
my dad is fairly thin and so were his parents but my mom's father was very heavy set.. and my mom's mother was average size all her life.

I'm just vertically challenged... yeah, thats it
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripley
I'm screwed; I eat more happy or sad.

Seriously, though....I thought that there were lots of supersize black folks? And I wonder about behavior over nature...like Sumo wrestlers. Most of their countrymen are of small stature, yet through behavior they are supersized. So I guess what I am saying is that a racially genetic predisposition may be there, but habits will determine supersizeness? And a genetic predisposition isn't necessary for supersizeness?

Reading this, I didn't say much at all, did I? I can sit on a fence better than a politician.
There are plenty of super sized black folk...In fact, most of the women that I know are heavy set. My partner's mother is supersized as well as my partner's Grandmother. Both are some of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen. In my previous posting on this, I wrote about African American attitudes about weight and body issues...we really don't have them. Especially the elders of the community...being heavy dates back to Africa- a woman who is fat is loved and cared for by her wealthy husband. The logic is that a man who has large herds of cattle could sell them and make enormous profit and thus could feed his wife, who would then pack on the pounds. In some parts of Egypt, to call a woman skinny is an insult...it's kind of the same way in contemporary school of thought in the African American community. The worst thing a woman could have is a narrow behind- men really don't find that attractive. Although, I will say that with the process of assimilation- one in which African Americans move into a predominate European or 'white' culture there has been a rise in eating disorders among teenage girls and also the impact that the media has on them is equally devastating.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashmamma84
Although, I will say that with the process of assimilation- one in which African Americans move into a predominate European or 'white' culture there has been a rise in eating disorders among teenage girls and also the impact that the media has on them is equally devastating.
That is heartbreaking.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane
That is heartbreaking.

It's a small percent of the population, but it's becoming a real problem.
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:02 PM   #13
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Ash, assimilation is a bad thing IMO for many ethnic groups, incl. African-Americans. When my own people (Italians and Jews) assimilated, they too began adopting the fatphobic attitudes of the majority white northern European culture which favors BOTH thinness and blondness. My grandfather (born in Sicily in 1895) used to try to fatten up my grandmother (born in Southern Italy, 1898)...he would say, "I don't want anyone thinking I have this skinny wife because I can't afford to feed her!" Thinness was associated with being poor and a man whose wife was fat, well, it meant he had the money to feed her! In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye says he wants his wife Golde to look like a "rich man's wife with a proper double chin". MY how times have changed, now with assimilated Jewish men lusting after the thin blond gentile women, and Italian men who are assimilated lusting after thin, blond Scandinavian women!


I grew up in an Italian and Jewish working class neighborhood, and we had African-Americans there too. I'd often sit on my porch and watch the big, beautiful African American women all dressed up (wow did they dress sharp!) going to the church down the street. I always admired their confidence and poise, and its so, so sad to hear that the fatphobes are going after them now too. I read an article that had me steaming last year...by some skinny AA doctor who "lamented" the fact that AA women were so confident despite being large. WHAT a bitch to say that!! (sorry!) The LAST bastion of big women who love themselves and live in a culture that fully accepts them, and the fat phobes have to zero in on them now too!
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:03 PM   #14
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:12 AM   #15
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Ofcourse there's a genetic component. Everybody knows somebody who couldn't gain weight if (s)he tried and atleast one person who could eat a mere 1,000 Cal a day and not loose an ounce.
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam
England doesn't consider themselves part of Europe and Germany is really closer to the middle of Europe, and my nearly 600 pound wife is an African American woman, although she was born in St Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Oh, St Thomas on the Virgin Islands, that's where "The Mamas & Papas" went on vacation. And after they came back to New York they were freezing (especially Michelle Phillips who is from California) and that is when she and John Phillips wrote "California Dreaming".

Just had to mention that, it's one of my favorite songs and I really like (and miss) California a lot.

Never mind...what was the topic?
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