Thrifty Gene

Here is an article from the Globe and Mail that discusses the Thrifty Gene hypothesis. This article is titled How The Diabetes Linked Thrifty Gene Triumphed with prejudice over proof.

I remember someone telling me about this supposed gene when I was younger. I believed this person. However, hearing this didn’t cause me any pain or stigmatization. What it did do rather was that it instilled fear in me that if I became obese that I could get this type of diabetes. I knew that obesity was high amongst Aboriginal people. I just didn’t know why it was higher when compared to the rest of the population. This worried me.

Hearing this rather led me to believe that I had no way in chance in avoiding diabetes if I were to become obese, overweight, fat, whatever you want to call it. This led to self-esteem issues and body image issues. Already living in a society that places body image and looks as a priority for females in society, I felt that I had to do something to stop obesity from happening to me.

This stress and these worries later led me to struggle with almost ten years of battling with an eating disorder. I hid this from my family and friends. Not only did I have to deal with the fear of getting fat and not being able to escape it, I had to deal with the fear of someone finding out my dark secret.

Today, after much reading and education from doctors and other health professionals, I obviously learned that obesity can be avoided in a much healthier way. Fortunately, I realize today that I can eat anything I want as long as it is in moderation.

I believe that proper education on healthy life styles choices and learning to cook with foods in a healthy manner could help. All I can say is that changes in lifestyles do not just include being more active and eating fresh foods, it means allowing those types of foods to be available to all across Canada and not just those who can afford. Trust me, fresh foods and healthy foods are not cheap.

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