Christian Brothers High School


            Biotechnology has resulted in the advancements of countless medical issues, and now with obesity being such a prominent issue in the United States, biotechnologists are doing research to help find a “cure” for obesity.  Contrary to popular belief, obesity is not just a result of poor diet and exercise.  Obesity is now being linked to genetics.  “Twin and family studies indicate that genetic factors play a role in most individuals who are obese,” says George Barsh, an obesity researcher at Stanford University.  With this new information, biotechnologists may be able to help the future of obesity.

            What is incredibly unique and exciting about this particular field of study is how relevant the issue is to the average person in a developed country.  Most people know someone who would be considered medically obese.  These bioengineered products are not being developed or funded in other countries because obesity is not as relevant in developing countries.  If the genetic aspect of obesity could be identified and controlled, fewer people would be overweight.  Its amazing how this country has changed its culture to accommodate those who are physically unable due to their weight.  Many jobs require one to simply sit and operate machinery and require less work.

            The physical health to a body would be beneficial to one’s lifestyle.  Obesity, in a large amount of cases, lead to type 2 diabetes but it has also been linked to heart disease and some forms of cancer.  If obesity were no longer an issue for those with hereditary obesity, then those health issues would also not be hereditary.

            The money that goes into gastric surgery and other similar surgeries is formidable.  The health industry has become particularly difficult to remain ahead in for all parties and surgery is becoming less of an option for people looking to lose weight, this is due mostly to the insurance difficulties involved.  Those procedures are not guaranteed to be reliable and in many cases the patients can gain back some if not all of the weight they lost from the surgery.  The genetically engineered Leptin pills that biotechnologists are currently developing are largely preferable to surgery in that they are more natural to the body, much less risky, and more cost effective than other medical treatments.  The effects of lessening the impact of obesity on the country would be beneficial.  Let’s not forget that the hereditary aspect is only part of the puzzle that is obesity.  People need to start doing their part by improving their exercise and dietary habits.

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