Credit: Boston Children's Hospital. Three sibling mice. The one on the left has a genetic defect that causes it to grow fat even though it was given the same diet.
A recent report in Science Magazineshows that mice that have certain genetic defects can eat exactly the same healthy diet as their genetically normal siblings, yet still gain weight to the point of obesity. This is further evidence that obesity is not necessarily about gluttony and lack of will, but about your body’s metabolic control system.
Gina Kolata of the New York Times wrote an excellent lay summary of the research.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
Stephen L. Macknik
Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik are laboratory directors at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. They serve on Scientific American Mind's board of advisers and are authors of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions, with Sandra Blakeslee, now in paperback (http://sleightsofmind.com). Their forthcoming book, Champions of Illusion, will be published by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.