June 2016 Newsletter (click on the link to read the full article in our newsletter)
How Your Genes Affect Your Jean Size
by Molly Galbraith and Dr. Krista Rompolski
Note: This article is about the influence of genetics on the structure and shape of your body. It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that clothing sizes, which are typically determined by the designers or manufacturers, are outrageously arbitrary. You could (and probably do) wear a wide range of sizes, and these sizes have nothing to do with your worth and value as a person.
This article is co-authored by Molly Galbraith and exercise physiologist Dr. Krista Rompolski. Krista is an Assistant Professor at Drexel University, where she teaches Exercise Physiology, Anatomy and Physiology, and courses in clinical research.
“I am just big-boned. Everyone in my family is big-boned.”
“My mom is overweight. My dad is overweight. I’ll never be anything but overweight.”
“My sister is tall and lean like my dad, and I am short and stocky like my mom. I will never be lean like my sister.”
At one point or another, you’ve probably heard your friends or family members utter these phrases. Heck, you may have even said similar things yourself. For every average-height, average-age woman who can stay pretty lean with very little effort, no matter how much she eats or what she does for exercise, there is another woman of the same height and age, with the same eating habits and activity level, whose body composition is completely different.
What gives? Genetics. That’s what gives.
How Much Do Your Genes Affect Your Weight?
Your genetics, above all else, determine how your body responds and adapts to your food intake and your activity. Whether it’s how much lean mass you hold, how much fat mass you gain or lose, and where on your body you carry these tissues, your body has a blueprint that is, to say the least, difficult to manipulate. We get our genes from our parents, who got them from their parents, and so on. We carry a bit of each of them in our chromosomes.