What is the “Skinny Gene”

Do I Have the Skinny Gene? What makes her skinny and me fat?

It’s a question I used to ask myself often. The answer was elusive. I expected to see my skinny pal display distinctly different preferences in food and portions. How, on Earth, is it that I am physically active and my friend is a couch potato, and still, she’s the skinny one?

We go out to eat and we share a pizza. I eat 3 slices; she eats 5! I drink diet coke and she drinks 2 large glasses of Mountain Dew! Does she have a skinny gene, or am I full of obesity genes?

I manage my weight and my friend ignores weight management strategies and weighs less than I do! What the heck......?

I manage my weight and my friend ignores weight management strategies and weighs less than I do! What the heck……?

Could I have a skinny gene too and I just haven’t activated it? It sounds crazy, but some scientists say it may be the case. Some research indicates that alternate fasting may activate the skinny gene. I’m not entirely convinced; there seems to be more anecdotal evidence than real, solid scientific data.

I decided to do a little Google search to find out about skinny genes. I was not surprised that there were doctors endorsing supplements “developed specifically to activate skinny genes.”

There were lots of diets that promised to turn on my skinny genes so that I could wear skinny jeans! There are skinny pills I can buy on the Internet, of course. They can be purchased and shipped for free for a low introductory price as long as I agree to future auto shipments and a higher – much higher – automatic monthly charge!


Self-diagnosis, though common, isn’t accurate! Testing is the only way to know for sure, and I’m not wasting my money on that!

I’m not interested in having DNA testing to find out more about my genes. Maybe I have some skinny genes, but I think any effect they may have on my body weight are offset by whatever fat genes I must carry.

I would love to find a way to turn on my skinny genes while deactivating my fat genes. It would be so nice to stop monitoring what I’m eating and just stay at goal weight on autopilot.

Then I think about it a little more and I realize that I’m satisfied with the food I eat. I enjoy the flavors, the variety, and I eat enough to avoid being in a constant state of hunger. In fact, I can eat in response to both homeostatic and hedonic hunger. In other words I can eat when I am truly hungry and I can eat when I just feel like eating for the only reason that delicious food is available and I want some. I’m not deprived.

Maybe there is a way to turn on my skinny genes, but I realize that I’ve learned how to manage my fat genes and in doing so, I’ve taken important steps in staying healthy.

Do I have the skinny gene? I don’t know and you know what?  I don’t care!
Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.