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What is the effect of genes on body shape and size?

Human beings naturally vary in body shape and size. Some of us have large frames, while others of us have small frames. If most of the women in our family are heavy, we may have a genetic predisposition to be larger. The foods that our ancestors ate may offer some interesting clues to an appropriate diet for our personal health. Ancestry is a factor in the high incidence of certain diet-related chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and alcoholism, among Native Americans in the U.S. Poverty has forced many Native American families to eat diets high in nontraditional, unhealthy foods, such as white flour and sugar. Research has shown that biological factors play a role in alcoholism and diabetes rates: Since fermented foods were not a part of the traditional diet, many Native Americans typically lack the enzyme to process alcohol and other sugars.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.