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A Diet Just for You

Your boyfriend can lose weight just by giving up desserts for a week, while nothing you do will budge that extra ten pounds. Researchers have discovered that different genes are responsible for obesity in different groups of mice, so they assume it must be true for humans as well. This means there needs to be different ways to lose weight. Some people may have a hormone problems, while others have flawed hunger message signals or emotional reasons to overeat. Pre-diabetic people have an especially hard time dropping more than a few pounds, since their bodies are programmed to grab onto extra weight.

When different types of genetically altered mice are put on high-fat diets, some don't put on weight, while others do. The overweight mice can be divided into two genetic types. Scientists have also found a "hotspot" of obesity-related genes on chromosome 2. Dr. Eric Schadt says, "While the end result is the same, in that you get obese, the reasons why you get obese are varied, and genetically controlled."

Structured diets like Weight Watchers often don't work?people don't lose much or else they gain it all back quickly when the diet is over. Researchers found that Weight Watchers participants lost an average of only six pounds over a two year period. Really diligent dieters lost only eleven pounds in the same period of time. That weight "is not very much in comparison to what people hope they will lose, or what people need to lose in order to reach the desired, svelte self," says Dr. Stanley Heshka.

Dr. Ian Campbell says, "Our understanding of obesity is growing all the time. Some of the discoveries in the field of genetics are opening up possibilities of a whole new range of treatments. The more we understand about obesity, the less it seems to be the patient's fault. It's more a combination of genetic and environmental influences."

Maybe we should all eat like Lilith?she stayed slim for thousands of years.

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