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#1
Westerners could be genetically programmed to consume fatty foods and alcohol more than those from the east, researchers have claimed.

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen say a genetic switch - DNA which turns genes on or off within cells - regulates appetite and thirst.

The study suggests it is also linked to depression.

Dr Alasdair MacKenzie conceded it would not stop those moving to the west adapting to its lifestyle.

Obesity levels have risen sharply in many Western countries since the 1970s.

Dr MacKenzie, who lead the study team, told BBC Scotland they found Europeans were more inclined to consume fatty foods and alcohol - but that people from the East could end up with the same problems if adapting to a new culture.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-14154598

Certainly an interesting read, you should read the entire thing to get why exactly they think it is like that. I mean, if proven conclusively. But is it down to genes? And not culture? Is it good to find "blame" in things we can't control instead of taking control of our own lives?

Personally I think research like this is interesting, but it's far too generalizing to say it's down to "western genes". People also have a choice when it comes to diets and exercise, and it's up to them to follow any regimes.
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#2
I call shenanigans.
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#3
It's not genes. If it was, you could also say that "westerners are genetically programmed for Christianity". No, we have fast food and booze, so we consume fast food and booze like were brought up to do.
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#4
Quote by fearofthemark
It's not genes. If it was, you could also say that "westerners are genetically programmed for Christianity". No, we have fast food and booze, so we consume fast food and booze like were brought up to do.

Yep.

Also, separate question, is it possible that we have genes 'programmed' to crave or become addicted to certain foods or chemical compounds that have not yet been created or existed?
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#6
Meh, I'm a Westerner and I don't drink and I don't actively seek out fatty foods.
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#7
I don't drink and I'm underweight. Problem, BBC?
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#8
Quote by Zaphikh
Yep.

Also, separate question, is it possible that we have genes 'programmed' to crave or become addicted to certain foods or chemical compounds that have not yet been created or existed?


We are programmed to like sugary and fatty foods because those give us the most bang for our buck, calorie wise. Before civilizations and before we started herding animals and making twinkies and all that, sugar was very rare, so in a sense we were "programmed" to like something we probably wouldnt have the chance to eat. Now that we have too much of it, perhaps those who dont like sugar and fat so much have a higher chance of passing down our genes to the next generation (cause who thinks obese people are attractive, right?) and in 10-20,000 years, people will think of sugar the way we currently think of brussel sprouts. Assuming were not extinct by then.
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#9
Quote by fearofthemark
We are programmed to like sugary and fatty foods because those give us the most bang for our buck, calorie wise. Before civilizations and before we started herding animals and making twinkies and all that, sugar was very rare, so in a sense we were "programmed" to like something we probably wouldnt have the chance to eat. Now that we have too much of it, perhaps those who dont like sugar and fat so much have a higher chance of passing down our genes to the next generation (cause who thinks obese people are attractive, right?) and in 10-20,000 years, people will think of sugar the way we currently think of brussel sprouts. Assuming were not extinct by then.

I'm well aware of everything you've just said (with a little skepticism towards the sugar / brussels sprouts analogy). I'm just wondering if it is possible for our genome to already be 'pre-programmed' to crave a chemical compound that does not occur naturally as a biomolecule and would be completely original in structure, artificially created by humans.
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#10
Quote by fearofthemark
(cause who thinks obese people are attractive, right?)


People get off to BBW all the damn time. There must be some form of attraction involved in masturbating to a certain picture.
#11
Quote by Zaphikh
I'm well aware of everything you've just said (with a little skepticism towards the sugar / brussels sprouts analogy). I'm just wondering if it is possible for our genome to already be 'pre-programmed' to crave a chemical compound that does not occur naturally as a biomolecule and would be completely original in structure, artificially created by humans.


I'm pretty sure that the artificial flavorings they put in food are not something we could find in nature, so I would say so. As long as it tastes good.
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#12
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People get off to BBW all the damn time. There must be some form of attraction involved in masturbating to a certain picture.


Of course, but I'm pretty sure they're a minority
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#13
It says that the Eastern born people are also susceptible to this probelm if they adjust to western culture. So I'd say it was a culture thing. For food anyway.

Alcohol has been used as a major source of hydration for centuries since it was cleaner (in the UK at least) than water. So I believe that is also cultural, but also a habitual thing.

Though I, being a westerner, am far from overweight. I choose to avoid fatty foods the best I can. Drink regularly, but not as much as I used to or as much as people I know. It comes down to will imo.
#14
Quote by fearofthemark
I'm pretty sure that the artificial flavorings they put in food are not something we could find in nature, so I would say so. As long as it tastes good.

'Artificial' flavorings are just esters found in nature that are mass produced in a lab. Ultimately they are still biomolecules. And I'm not completely sure, but esters are not a proper source of energy for survival. They appeal to our sense of smell and taste, but that's about it.
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#15
Quote by fearofthemark
Of course, but I'm pretty sure they're a minority


That's what they said about black people..

We must always include the minorities.
#16
Quote by SG_dave
Alcohol has been used as a major source of hydration for centuries since it was cleaner (in the UK at least) than water. So I believe that is also cultural, but also a habitual thing.

Erm... alcohol dehydrates you bud.
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#17
Quote by Zaphikh
Erm... alcohol dehydrates you bud.


Yes, but in the medieval ages the water was dangerous to drink in the UK. It caused dysentry, typhoid etc. due to high levels of contamintation and pollution. So weak beers were brewed as an alternative source of drink.
#18
Quote by Zaphikh
'Artificial' flavorings are just esters found in nature that are mass produced in a lab. Ultimately they are still biomolecules. And I'm not completely sure, but esters are not a proper source of energy for survival. They appeal to our sense of smell and taste, but that's about it.


You know your chemistry

But I don't think we have to restrict it to molecules that don't naturally exist, just molecules that we would never have had the opportunity to eat when our sense of taste was evolving to what it is now. And I'm not sure about this, but dont things like hydrogenated oils not generally exist in nature?

If there's a delicious type of edible plastic, we probably found the answer.
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Last edited by fearofthemark at Jul 14, 2011,
#19
Quote by severed-metal
That's what they said about black people..

We must always include the minorities.




Hitler said the same thing about his concentration camps
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#20
Quote by SG_dave
Yes, but in the medieval ages the water was dangerous to drink in the UK. It caused dysentry, typhoid etc. due to high levels of contamintation and pollution. So weak beers were brewed as an alternative source of drink.

Now see that's more plausible.
Quote by fearofthemark
You know your chemistry

Attenting uni for chem. engineering. I hope I know my chemistry

But I don't think we have to restrict it to molecules that don't naturally exist, just molecules that we would never have had the opportunity to eat when our sense of taste was evolving to what it would be now. And I'm not sure about this, but dont things like hydrogenated oils not generally exist in nature?

Sure they exist.
If there's a delicious type of edible plastic, we probably found the answer.

Eww...
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#21
I read this as "Westerners 'programmed for awesomeness and fun'".


USA! USA! USA!
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#22
Quote by Zaphikh
Now see that's more plausible.

Attenting uni for chem. engineering. I hope I know my chemistry


Sure they exist.

Hmm, ask your professor and when you find out, hit me up. I'm interested.

Eww...


What, you never had American cheese?




Yum. Delicious plastic goodness.
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#23
I'm not fat.
Screw you BBC!
To be vulnerable is needed most of all, if you intend to truly fall apart.


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#25
No interest in starting to drink, I definitely don't have the world's healthiest diet, I'm not particularly overweight, I'm the strongest member of my family, and I'm not some sort of exercise nut who can eat like than because he turns around and works it all off in a day.

I call bullshit.
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#26
Quote by necrosis1193
No interest in starting to drink, I definitely don't have the world's healthiest diet, I'm not particularly overweight, I'm the strongest member of my family, and I'm not some sort of exercise nut who can eat like than because he turns around and works it all off in a day.

I call bullshit.


lrn2average

Some people won't fit the hypothesis. But there'll be enough of those that do to make it statistically significant.

Edit: also you're comparing yourself to other westerners.
#27
Quote by SG_dave
lrn2average

Some people won't fit the hypothesis. But there'll be enough of those that do to make it statistically significant.


Alright, allow me to rephrase then.

I see about as many natural food stores as I do fast food stores, I can only think of three liquor stores for miles around, I can think of at least half a dozen gyms in an even smaller radius than those liquor stores, and outside of a few soccer moms, I can count the obese people I know on one hand.

Unless my entire town and the next few towns around it are all on an extreme of this study, I call bullshit.
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#28
Quote by necrosis1193
Alright, allow me to rephrase then.

I see about as many natural food stores as I do fast food stores, I can only think of three liquor stores for miles around, I can think of at least half a dozen gyms in an even smaller radius than those liquor stores, and outside of a few soccer moms, I can count the obese people I know on one hand.

Unless my entire town and the next few towns around it are all on an extreme of this study, I call bullshit.


Where do you live? I'm guessing America, but what state?
#29
Quote by SG_dave
Where do you live?


The Sonic Asylum. Duh.
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#30
Quote by SG_dave
Where do you live?


What Fearofthemark said, genius.

Outer Baltimore.
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#31
The study suggests it is also linked to depression.


The East looks more depressed to me.

Last edited by WaterGod at Jul 14, 2011,
#33
Quote by necrosis1193
What Fearofthemark said, genius.

Outer Baltimore.


http://chartsbin.com/view/562?utm_source%3Dchartsbin.com%26utm_medium%3Dfeed%26utm_campaign%3Dbig_image_from_feed

Apparently you're in the 26th most obese state in America. Not bad when you realise that the medical requisite for obesity is a lot lower than most people realise (for size and weight)

Also the article in the OP includes all of Europe remember, over here there's less of the healthy extreme of the scale to even it out.
#34
Quote by SG_dave
http://chartsbin.com/view/562?utm_source%3Dchartsbin.com%26utm_medium%3Dfeed%26utm_campaign%3Dbig_image_from_feed

Apparently you're in the 26th most obese state in America. Not bad when you realise that the medical requisite for obesity is a lot lower than most people realise (for size and weight)


So we're healthier than about half the country?

Feels good man.

Also the article in the OP includes all of Europe remember, over here there's less of the healthy extreme of the scale to even it out.


Wait, now I'm confused. The majority of Europe is west if we slice along the Atlantic, which I assumed the test was doing, so wouldn't that mean that, if there's less health nuts in Europe, the test should show the opposite of what it does?

Or am I just being overtired?
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Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 50-54
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#35
Quote by necrosis1193
So we're healthier than about half the country?

Feels good man.


Wait, now I'm confused. The majority of Europe is west if we slice along the Atlantic, which I assumed the test was doing, so wouldn't that mean that, if there's less health nuts in Europe, the test should show the opposite of what it does?

Or am I just being overtired?


Western culture includes Europe, the Americas and a Australasia normally.

Eastern Culture us usually Africa and Asia. Mainly because most countries in the Eastern culture are collectivist and less economically developed.
#36
i'm pretty sure junk food is like waaay cheaper tha anything else in the states. In canada, junk food is actually about the same price as most other takeout food, so there's actually a lot less people eating mcdonalsd every day and you can realy tell (crossing border from canada to usa, drastic change in body types x_x )

but fat foods are good for testosterone, lift heavy and eat fatty= profit
#37
Quote by SG_dave
Western culture includes Europe, the Americas and a Australasia normally.

Eastern Culture us usually Africa and Asia. Mainly because most countries in the Eastern culture are collectivist and less economically developed.


So we're talking culturally, not geographically?

That changes things a bit. I still think it's off-base, but I can see it a bit more now.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 50-54
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 0-0
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#38
Quote by necrosis1193
So we're talking culturally, not geographically?

That changes things a bit. I still think it's off-base, but I can see it a bit more now.


Basically anyone who is white or Mexican.
#39
Quote by necrosis1193
So we're talking culturally, not geographically?

That changes things a bit. I still think it's off-base, but I can see it a bit more now.


I assumed cultural. That's what these studies are normally split up into.
Geographically it's far too relative.

Personally anything further East than Turkey is Eastern to me. But to those in California, mainland Europe would be Eastern.
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