Monday, July 18, 2005

Interesting News

An article appeared on CNN today, describing the results of a study conducted by some European researchers that identified a gene, known as ENPP1, that is linked to both fat and diabetes. I don't want to read too much into this, but if the results hold up, doesn't this sorta suggest that this bullshit that the diet industry tells us about how anyone can lose weight and keep it off is, well, bullshit? At the very least, it lends support to the notion that fat people aren't just fat because they are lazy or gluttonous. Well, we knew that anyway... it's just that some people still don't seem to get it.

Now, I'm no geneticist, but it seems to me that one conclusion you might come to after seeing the results of this study is that maybe future research could yield some kind of gene therapy that might help prevent people with the ENPP1 gene from becoming diabetic. The jury is still out as to whether being fat actually causes any serious health problems (see Paul Campos' excellent book _The Obesity Myth_ for more on this topic), but given that diabetes is such an awful disease, I think we can all agree that preventing people from getting it would be a good idea. So, the discovery of this gene is exciting for that reason.

But get a load of what one of the researchers thinks is the greatest cause for celebration here: one of the lead researchers on the project, Philippe Froguel, says that "If we can identify those at risk at an earlier age, it may be possible to take preventive measures earlier on, and reduce the burden of ill health caused by obesity in later life." Huh? Burden of ill health caused by obesity? Um, I thought I heard something about there maybe being a gene that causes both diabetes and fatness, suggesting that maybe being fat doesn't cause diabetes. Where did I hear that...? Oh yeah, it was in Philippe Froguel's own fucking study. Wow.

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