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HomeNewsAsk Amy: I've always been skinny and am trying to understand obesity.

Ask Amy: I’ve always been skinny and am trying to understand obesity.


Dear Amy, I have always been slim and fit. I eat well and exercise.

Like most people, I have friends and family who struggle terribly with weight issues.

I have read volumes on the genetic origins of obesity and want to be sensitive to this topic.

I can’t help but notice, however, that the overweight people I know eat much more than I do, exercise less, and generally lead much less healthy lifestyles.

Am I to believe that they are genetically prone to these behaviors?

Please help me understand science!

– Trying not to judge

Dear Trying not to Judge: To quote author Roxanne Gay: “When you’re overweight, people project supposed narratives onto your body and aren’t interested in the truth at all.”

If you really wanted to understand the science, you would have gone ahead and digested (excuse the pun) the part of the research you’ve done, compared to the choice you’ve made: scratching your head in fake awe that you witness people with overweight. eat more and move less than you.

Genetics appear to play a role in both obesity itself and obesity-related behaviors, such as overeating. From my own reading, the causes of obesity are varied and extremely complex, making successful obesity treatment much more complicated than you might think.

This is from a study published by the National Institutes of Health: “The sensation of appetite and satiety involves complex interactions between hormones from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to the hypothalamus and subsequent feedback. Within the hypothalamus there are specific regions where hormones interact to produce feelings of appetite and satiety, leading to the consumption of food or a feeling of satiety.

People overeat for a variety of sometimes complex physical and emotional reasons, including the fact that, for some people, their brains don’t get the message that they’re full.

And sometimes we humans overeat because we want to and don’t exercise because we don’t want to.

Bodies are not universally thin. It is possible to be overweight and fit.

The only piece of wisdom I can offer you with full authority is that no overweight person wants or needs your gaze, your scrutiny, or your curiosity as to why they don’t look more like you.

Dear Amy, I read your column every day before my shift. As a former sexual assault investigator, he vehemently disagreed with his advice on “Sick of Secrets.” (Sick was the ex-wife of a man who had admitted to a sexual relationship decades earlier, when he was 30 and the girl was 15.)

Child sexual assault should never be kept a secret.

If a perpetrator abuses once, he will abuse twice. This man abused a child.

Who says that this man has not abused his own daughter? This must be reported immediately.

– Sgt. TM in Tulsa

Dear Sergeant. TM In Tulsa: Thanks for reading and for your response. Other readers agreed with you.

In answering this challenging question, I took into account the fact that “Sick of Secrets” reported that the victim’s family was aware of the sexual relationship at the time it happened, and that the victim and his family members they had chosen not to. to report this, either when it happened many years ago, or later.

I was concerned that an angry ex-wife might choose to “take out” a victim, when in my opinion this should not be her choice. She had been sitting on this knowledge for many years, and her motivation now, as I read it, was to punish her ex by revealing this to her teenage children.

As I said in my answer, if “Sick of Secrets” had any reason to doubt her ex-husband’s behavior now, then she should act. She did not report having any concerns (she and her ex share custody of her children), which is why I replied that telling her teenage children about this would only shift the burden of this knowledge of hers. them.

Dear Readers, Have you ever had your question posted in the “Ask Amy” column? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Did you accept or reject my advice? Was the issue you wrote about resolved?

As part of our ongoing conversation about human behavior and its consequences, I’d love to hear how things turned out for you.

Please get in touch! Email me at askamy@amydickinson.com; write UPDATE in the subject line and tell me your story.

I welcome the opportunity to get back in touch.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @asking either Facebook.)

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