How often have you heard the expression 'I can't help it, it's in my genes'? A convenient explanation for the creeping waistline, disease and bad habits or just a cop out?
Whilst it is true that your genetic make-up (and family history) determine some of your appearance and your health prospects, genes do not account for everything. In fact, there is growing evidence to suggest that your health and appearance are also governed strongly by your environment - what you eat, how you exercise, how you work and play, and other lifestyle factors.
Knowing your family history and health risks gives you an opportunity to influence your fate. For example, if diabetes or heart disease runs in your family, then the evidence is there to say you may be able to reduce your risk of developing these diseases by making some smart lifestyle choices. Stay active, eat healthy foods and keep your body weight in check. The same message applies to not so life threatening problems which seem to 'run in families' such as overweight, constipation and haemorrhoids (piles).
You can't change your genes, but you can change your lifestyle, so start today by checking your diet and your family's diet.