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Gene Eating: Book Review

Gene Eating: The science of obesity and the truth about diets, is a super interesting first book from Dr Giles Yeo.

Many of you will know Giles from the BBC Horizons documentary Clean Eating-The Dirty Truth and I'm sure lots of you follow him on social media. If you don't, he is a very funny guy, who knows so so much about genetics. And I suppose he should, given that he is a geneticist!

I was quite apprehensive starting this book- I don't know much about genetics (I did have a module in my undergraduate programme on genetics, but that was some time ago and it was my worst grade!) and was a bit worried the book would be a struggle to get to grips with. Reader, if you have the same concern, fear not. You are in truly safe hands with Giles.

He uses hilarious and often very relatable anecdotes to explain things and takes the time to break things down so they are clear, even to genetics newbies.

The book is filled with information you will want to highlight and re-read because it is so interesting! There is lots of brilliant information about specific genetic examples explaining body size. My favourite was the story of the labradors. Giles explains that "labradors and flat-coats are both descended from the now extinct St John's waterdog, which were bred between the 17th and 19th centuries in Canada, to accompany Newfoundland fishermen....while selecting dogs for breeding to jump into icy-cold waters off Newfoundland, might have noticed a particularly well-padded dog (more insulation) who was willing to work harder for food (as motivation)". The book goes on to explain the genetic reasoning behind this, which ultimately means that labradors are very trainable because food is a motivator for them, but can be heavier than other dog breeds.

As well as all the juicy genetics stories, the book discusses calories & what they mean, our evolution from cave man, different diets and the evidence (or lack of evidence) behind them, and the book ends with "Yeo Truths", which are Giles' top tips to takeaway from the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone interested in learning more about the genetics of weight. It can be an intense read at times, with some scientific jargon and lengthy explanations, so you probably won't read it in a weekend! But it is worth taking your time with to really take in all the info!

If you'd like to grab your own copy, click on the link below to purchase from Amazon.

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