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High Famine Sensitivity of Racial Groups

According to the Center for Disease Control, several racial groups in the United States have especially high rates of obesity. This is a function of high famine sensitivity. They are African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. The high rates of obesity and diabetes in these groups reflect the overall high famine sensitivity. Within a culture of habitual recurrent under eating, plus excessive make-up food, these subgroups are even more vulnerable than the general population.

Most people become more famine sensitive with age. This contributes to the gradual weight gain of most adults. Usually, they attribute this added weight to a decrease in metabolic rate and activity level, which may also add to weight gain, but increased famine sensitivity and poor regular eating habits also play a significant role.

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Tasha is a 26-year-old African American woman who was 65 pounds overweight by her thirtieth birthday. She was tall and athletic and carried herself well, but the extra pounds bothered her, especially because her mother had diabetes and had been obese all her life. Tasha wanted to change

that for herself.

Tasha started gaining weight in third grade. She became self-conscious and started to worry about getting fat like her mother. By fifth grade, she was teased and stopped eating lunch at school. She didn’t tell her mother but when she got home she was ravenous and ate plenty. In spite of her many attempts to control her weight-gain, Tasha continued to gain throughout high school and into her 20s. She had no idea her ethnicity-related high famine sensitivity and her dieting were behind her struggle.

So, your famine sensitivity sets you up to gain weight, more or less, as a result of dieting. If you have high famine sensitivity and you have dieted off and on for many years, your weight problem is bound to be significant. But, you might be only moderately overweight, if your famine sensitivity is low, even if you have been a long-term dieter.

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