According to Ray Kurzweil’s “Law of Accelerating Returns,” the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems, including the growth of technologies, tends to increase exponentially. Genetic testing is one of those extraordinary pieces of technology that has recently exploded with promise. Currently, there are approximately 1200 genetic tests available from testing laboratories in the United States according to the National Institutes of Health. Soon, testing for variants related to sugar and fat metabolism will be added to this menu.
A recent study conducted by California Schools VEBA (VEBA), Healthy Adventures Foundation and Pathway Genomics Corporation determined that when people knew their genetic make-up, they had greater success in lowering their Body Mass Index (BMI). Predispositions in processing sugars, fats, nutrients and vitamins, as expressed in various organs, can be discovered through genetic testing. Armed with this knowledge, people will change the way they eat, hopefully for the better. No longer will they have to sift through the thousand or so theories on what you should or should not eat in order to lose weight. No longer will healthy eating choices be left to trial and error.
Good thing too. I’m convinced that the main reason I’m 30 pounds overweight is because I’m genetically predisposed to a sugar addiction. I also believe that I can be “cured” if I can just figure out the right combination of healthy foods to eat (and I eat them of course). I’m no doctor, nor have I had a doctor confirm any of my convictions on why I’m fat. The last time I shared with a doctor one of my theories about what was ailing me I got a smart answer. He asked me why I was there to see him that day and I told him it was because I had dislocated my hip. He asked me to stand up and to walk across the room. Which I did. Then he announced, glibly, that my hip that wasn’t dislocated. That history of over diagnosing myself aside, I do believe that my suspicions can be confirmed with science and technology. Science has already helped me lose 20 with the use of Orlistat. Orlistat is a weight loss drug that prevents your body from absorbing some of the fat from the foods you eat. Not only did it help me lose weight, but it helps me keep it off. I have no doubt that I’ll soon be able to add another weapon to my arsenal to use in the weight wars. With the rate that new discoveries are being made in the genetic arena, I fully expect that drugs will soon be tailor made for each individual that will increase weight loss without a lot of effort and help to maintain a healthy weight without having to give up too many bad habits.
But, I already have all the tools I need to live a healthy life at a normal weight. All I have to do is not over eat and exercise regularly. This is why there is some part of me (a small part) that feels genetic testing can have the potential to corrupt the human character. Shouldn’t drugs and genetic testing only be a last resort for controlling my weight? Wouldn’t I be a better person if I did the hard work it currently takes to live a healthy lifestyle in this fat inducing culture in which we live? Maybe. But there’s a dividend to science and technology that can be used to improve the physical body even if the effect on the soul is not clear. Either way I’m going to cash in that dividend as soon as it’s available.