Let’s say my parents, grandparents and great grandparents are fat(obese). Is it the genes?
Now let’s say that i’m born fat too. During my childhood, I am obesely fat. But once I hit my 20s i lose weight. I lose enough weight to be slender. I maintain this for the rest of my life and after 15 years of being slender i get married to a woman who went through the same thing as me. Ancestors were obese. she was obese in childhood but is slender through hard work. We both get married and have a child. Will the child be obese? or slender?
If slender, have the genes changed?
if the genes can change, wouldn’t it change the idea of being born gay or anything being born something?

Losing weight does not affect your genetic heritage so if you have the ‘fat gene’ there is a chance you can pass it along to your children. Of course, while there is some genetic basis for a disposition towards being fat not all fat people are that way due to genes…for some it’s just an unhealthy lifestyle.

As with all genes some traits are recessive and some are dominant. I would assume a ‘fat gene’ to be a recessive trait but I don’t know for sure. Either way there is a chance your kids won’t inherit a fat gene. If both you and the woman you are having children with have the fat gene the chances increase but you both might still have a ‘non-fat gene’ as well lurking about that could potentially produce non-fat disposed children (this assumes this isn’t a trait only passed along by one or the other parent such as the sex of a child only being determined by the father’s genes). This is also not an all or nothing proposition. One could could be fat and the next thin…it’s a roll of the dice.

There are simple worksheets you can do to figure out the chances of what traits will get passed along. I did them in highschool biology class figuring how many mice would be black or white with one white parent and one black parent. I’m sure if you were interested you could dig something up to do this.

In a nutshell, your genes cannot change through dieting or excercise. Barring mistakes made in the transcription of the genetic code, You have the same DNA you had as a child, as does your wife, etc.

The “nature vs. nurture” debate continues unabated, but few deny the relationship as follows:

Your physical appearance, or “phenotype” is a result of the genes you have interacting with their environment.

Some people are genetically inclined to be larger than others, but the laws of physics still apply. You are not going to become “obese” unless you consume more calories than you work off.

i’m not too sure…

but i read (probably 4-5 years ago) in some science magazine that genes can indeed change in ourselves in our lifetime.

anyone know about this topic?..
or was it a dream of mine?..

oh by the way…
i’m not obese… not even close… haha…i weigh a nice 150lbs… 5’9"

how many of you guys assumed that i was?

As Stan Doubt (welcome to the boards!) mentioned your genes generally don’t change in your lifetime. Transcripting errors can and do occur (errors made in the creation of a new cell that put the genetic code back together a bit wrong) but mostly this doesn’t affect your overall being (although isn’t cancer a coding error run amok?). Most likely you won’t even notice. Radiation and perhaps some chemicals can get things pretty severely off track and is usually a Bad Thing[sup]tm[/sup] for the organism in question but again, you are basically the same genetically coded creature at age 80 as you were at age 1. I especially don’t see how your genes in your sperm or your wife’s egg would be affected regardless of what you do to your body.

I’ve been lurking for a few days now, in search of a new time waster since the action on the Car Talk BBS has slowed to a crawl.

this seemed like a fair enough post to try “breaking the ice” with.
I like this board a lot, very diverse group of topics/folks having fun.

Unfortunately, nothing is ever easy. It’s not just the genes that are important, but their expression pathways and so on. Every little step has to be understood before you can draw a line between A and B.

For an interesting overview of a non-Mendelian inheritance pattern,
, with more explanation at

If your parents had no children, you probably won’t either.