Do Genetics Impact Your Weight?

Do Genetics Impact Your Weight?

Do you ever wonder how your genetics play a role with your weight and eating behaviors? There are actually several genotypes which are associated with an individual’s predisposition to obesity and weight regain, as well as eating behaviors such as snacking, sweet tooth, food desire, hunger, eating disinhibition, and satiety.

In 2017, I conducted a quantitative retrospective study which examined weight loss patient characteristics and genotypes of six genes and their associated eating behavior traits from 698 electronic medical records. I examined patients classified as obese (BMI 30 or above) and out of the six eating behavior genotypes, I observed the highest frequency of atypical eating disinhibition genotype in this group compared to the non-obese or overweight patients.

The Impact of Genetics on Weight Gain

The atypical eating disinhibition genotype can contribute to weight promoting eating behaviors because it increases the likelihood of eating more than normal in response to a stimulus (eg, stress, social situation, and tasty foods). In fact, obese patients were twice as likely to have the atypical eating disinhibition genotype than the non-obese or overweight patients.

It is important for people who struggle with their weight to remember that there are multiple factors at play, some of which are not completely in your control. Whether or not your genetics play a role with your eating behaviors, it is imperative that you have ongoing support and accountability during your weight loss journey and beyond into weight maintenance.


Arguello, L.E., Mauldin, K., Goyal, D. (2017). “Atypical Eating Disinhibition Genotype.” Published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners June 2018, volume 14, issue 6, Pages 491-495.e2

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