Our genes determine how what shape we are, as well as how fat we get. Scientists can now take a DNA sample from you and tell?without even looking at your body?whether you're an hourglass or a pear-shape. Harvard's Ronald Kahn says, "By looking at your genes, we can tell how fat you are and how your body fat will be distributed."
This means that the current obesity epidemic can be linked not just to an excess of fast food and sugary sodas, it can also be traced to our genes. But no matter what shape we're destined to be, it's important to lose weight, because obesity leads to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. People who are apple-shaped are at much higher risk for contracting Type II diabetes, the kind you get from being overweight.
Kahn has discovered that just three genes: Tbx15, Gpc4, and HoxA5, are responsible for a person's body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio, which determine the shape of your body.
Researcher Cindy Istook went even further. She analyzed the figures of over 6,000 women and grouped them into seven categories: the inverted triangle, the hourglass, the bottom hourglass and the top hourglass, the rectangle, the spoon, and the triangle.
Approximately 46% of women were classified as rectangular, in which the bust and the hips are generally the same size, and the waist is less than nine inches smaller than the hips or the bust. A little more than 20% are spoon or pear shaped, with a hip measurement that is at least two inches larger than the bust. About 14% were inverted triangles, with busts three or more inches larger than their hips.
The hourglass shape, which features bust and hip measurements that are nearly equal along with a narrow waist, comprised only 8% of the body shapes analyzed. If you can't find clothes that fit, it's because fashion designers continue to make clothes based on the traditional hourglass figure, despite the fact that most women are either rectangular or pear-shaped.
Will there be gene-altering drugs in the future that can alter our shapes? Kahn says, "We don't have drugs to alter the pattern now, but perhaps in the future we will."
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
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