Do you feel overweight, about right, or too skinny? Your answer to that question may be tied to genes you inherited from your parents, especially if you are a female, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
"This study is the first to show that genes may influence how people feel about their weight," said CU Boulder doctoral student Robbee Wedow, lead study author. "And we found the effect is much stronger for women than men."
The research measured the heritability of subjective weight status, which indicates what proportion of variation in a given trait is due to genes versus the environment. Heritability estimates range from 0 to 1, with 0 indicating that genetics are not a contributing factor at all, and 1 indicating that genetics are the only contributing factor.
The study showed that perceived weight status was 0.47 heritable, said Wedow, who along with co-author Jason Boardman is in the Department of Sociology and a member of CU Boulder's Institute of Behavioral Science.
"The heritability estimates provided us with the first evidence that weight identity may have genetic underpinnings," Wedow said.