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During my time in Pakistan, I have come to realize that many health misconceptions exist and unfortunately, businesses capitalize on them to make a profit. A lot of the health beliefs are based on anecdotes rather than on robust evidence. So I decided to make a video on the health misconceptions that I have encountered.
I have been able to attend strong research-based universities such as Imperial College London which have an ethos that we as Pakistanis need to adopt. If your neighbor was cured of ‘x disease’ by ‘drinking x juice’ that doesn’t suffice as evidence. Evidence-based medicine requires quality research studies to be done without bias and be published in a reputable journal.
Recently, researchers at Imperial College London discovered mutations in a gene related to obesity. The focus of the study was children suffering from obesity in Pakistan. Obesity and genetics were linked in 30% of cases. Why specifically in Pakistan? This is due to the high level of inter-family marriages such as cousin marriages.
This causes defective (recessive mutations) genes to be passed on to children as cousins are more likely to carry the same mutated genes. Recessive traits require both parents to pass on the same gene for it to take effect. The specific gene identified was AADCY3, mutations in the gene led to abnormalities in appetite control, diabetes and sense of smell.
Try and avoid inter-family marriages as it can cause serious consequences with many children having an increased chance of inheriting many conditions. If your genes to make you more susceptible to obesity, you can still prevent it with a good diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.