Genetics can play a huge role in whether or not we are over weight. But so can our our environment. In our home right now, we have both spectrums of weight issues – I am trying to lose weight and we are always trying to get Liam to gain weight. Since both he and I are adopted, it has me thinking about the effects of nature vs nurture on our struggles.
Being adopted in a time of closed adoptions, I grew up with no idea of what my genetic family looked like. Did they struggle with their weight too? Or were my weight problems more because of the environment I lived in? My mom has been a member of TOPS for more than 35 years. I grew up watching her diet, measure her food and count calories. Her weight would go up and down over the years, until she finally hit her goal weight and stuck with it in the last decade. However, we always had chips, cookies, pop and ice cream in the house, and I remember freely helping myself to it all. All celebrations had a food component and all successes were rewarded with treats.
Eventually I was able to meet my birth mother and to see pictures of my half sister. They too have both struggled with weight issues all their life, with my sister being much heavier than I have ever been. So it seems that karma may have dealt me with weight issues from both the side of nature and the side of nurture.
We have more of an open adoption with Liam’s first family, but only on his mother’s side. He seems to be the only one that struggles with gaining weight. He also has the environmental component of being on medication that works as an appetit surpressant. So it begs the question – will he always be on the low end of the weight percentile, or could his genetic makeup kick in one day and even things out?
At the end of the day, the idea of nature vs nurture is really only academic. We can’t change our genetic makeup. We can however control our environment by making sure we are eating healthy food and staying active.
Do you think that Nature or Nurture has had a bigger impact on your health today?