Is Obesity in You? (by Guest Blogger Ashley P.)

AshleyPYouthWorkThis post is based on the community work and writing that the author has been doing in WR 122 at Portland Community College.  The piece of public writing is loosely based on a research question and research collection the author developed.  The public writing is a chance to use one’s writing to become part of the larger community dialogue about issues in the chosen theme.

The Public Writing

To whom it may concern,

For as long as anyone can remember, society has been degrading on the way a person looks. There is always criticism, either a woman isn’t skinny enough or that guy is too scrawny. It seems impossible to keep up to the standards of society. However, why should a person leave up to the expectations of a population of people he or she doesn’t even know?

Obesity is one of the main of disappointments known to society. No one wants to be friends with a fat person, as so many mainstream movies have portrayed. Though, no one should be ridiculed for their body type or overall physical appearance. Little do some know, typically a person doesn’t have control how their body grows. With extensive research, there have been many studies that found obesity is determined by a specific hormone, leptin. As no person is the exact same as anyone else, with millions and millions of different genes, hormones are supplied in similar ways. The more leptin hormones a person has, the bigger they grow into but it doesn’t mean that an obese person lack the abilities to exercise for weight loss.

It’s safe to say that a larger person has the work that much the harder into transforming into a healthier person. No person has any way of knowing how many of these hormones they’re equipped with. In all fairness, nobody should be judged by the way their body appears and no one should beat themselves up over it.



The Research Question & Collection

The question that led this research was: what is the correlation between being obese and having an active personality? Reading articles after articles, studies after studies, it’s best understood that genetic and hormones play a role into obesity. The piece of writing included in this post was made out to the editors of Reader’s Digest. As I wasn’t sure who to specifically write to, I believe that Reader’s Digest attracts a wide variety of audiences that would be drawn into reading a short posting about obesity and the person dealing with it, should not have to beat themselves up over it . Moreover, to have a better understanding what their body goes through is encoded into their genes.

Research Question: What is the correlation between being obese and having an active personality? 

Brown, Harriet. “In ‘Obesity Paradox,’ Thinner May Mean Sicker.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.  The article explains how people with certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, etc. are expected to live longer and have higher reserved energy than “normal” people. Also, there are explanations of studies that correlate health conditions and longevity. Trying to determine if genes play a role in determining a person has an active or lazy personality, this article highlights how chronic diseases can also affect it.

Reynolds, Gretchen. “Staying Trim When Fat Runs in the Family.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.  Elaborates about the “fat gene” and how most people are “doomed” to be chubby. Studies have showed that it’s a “genetic heritage”. This research goes on to explain about how exercising can counteract the effects of the “fat gene” and could possibly change the way it works. Working with the basketball team as my service-learning, this article relates to both being active and healthy, falling into the theme of Health & Wellness.

Frenk, DJ. “Genes Are Not Destiny.” The Obesity Prevention Source. Harvard: School of Public Health, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.  Explains the correlation between genes and interacting with the environment and how it’ll affect the person. The piece represents studies involving gene mutations, also referring to other genome associations.  This fits into my research because I’m trying to figure out if a person’s motivation to be fit or to lay around the house and be a couch potato has to be something within our body systems. If a person is lazy, can their gene be “mutated”/”changed” so he or she isn’t so lazy anymore?

Flintoft, Louisa. “Gene therapy for simian slackers.” Nature Reviews Genetics 5.10 (2004): 723. General Science Collection. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.  In an experiment, it was proven that blocking a gene receptor, they turned procrastinating monkeys into workaholics.  Being healthy is a key part of life. If a person can have a gene receptor blocked to make them more of productive person, then why not? If it were possible, those wanting to lose weight or to simply have a healthier lifestyle by getting off their butts and moving around, blocking that gene receptor would most likely be a consideration.




  1. Italia Hensley

    I liked your blog a lot because my family is over weight, though, I am not over weight I definitely struggle with weight because it runs in my family. I guess the hormone runs in my family and it was really cool to learn that its not a struggle that everyone goes through because it isn’t apart of their family.
    I would love to know what made you want to write about this topic. Has researching this topic done anything for you and your life?

  2. Jay Campuzano


    This is a great topic! I too have noticed overweight people are made fun of or looked at differently. It’s a very sad thing to see. I have a couple extra pounds on me and I get made fun of by some of my friends and co-workers. Even though it may be a joke to them, it’s still hurtful. I understand that they joke with me, but it shouldn’t be done.

    You have some very solid research. I really enjoyed reading your post.

  3. Aimee

    What an important topic. You can tell how this is close to your heart whether you deal with this yourself or have just seen others deal with it. It is sad when people are only seen for how they look instead of who they are. So many great people are left behind because of their appearance.

    I know what it is like to struggle with weight and deal with comments like “If you just exercise and eat right, you can lose the weight.” For some people it isn’t that easy. It is even more hurtful when you hear it from someone who was just out that afternoon eating a burger and fries with a milkshake and never steps in a gym. You wonder what kind of experience they have with how you lose weight and stay trim. What I want to tell them is that thin people can have heart attacks too! There are so many medical conditions that you can’t see on the outside that make it easy to gain/hard to lose weight. People need to become more educated. Sometimes it isn’t an easy fix.

    Thanks for writing this and I hope people begin looking into the studies and getting to know people for who they are.

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