Are You More Likely To Binge Eat Based On DNA?


Are You More Likely To Binge Eat Based On DNA?

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People may tend to overeat from time to time. 

However, binge eating is a different matter. If you always eat a large amount of food in a brief period of time, even when you are not hungry, you’re probably binge-eating.

When you’re binge-eating. you’re also more likely to feel embarrassed or guilty about it.

Your genetics play a significant role in your diet and health, particularly your eating habits. LifeDNA has found 5 important genes that can influence your likelihood of binge-eating. 

What is considered binge-eating?

Binge-eating and overeating both include mindless activity. You eat excessively without considering why. 

However, there are significant differences.

Here are some examples of overeating:

  • Enjoying multiple desserts after dinner
  • Consuming an entire bag of popcorn while watching a movie

Here are some examples of binge-eating:

  • Consuming two or three burgers even when you’re already stuffed.  
  • Eating to the point of pain.
  • Eating a whole cake in one sitting and then feeling guilty. 

Your FTO Gene & Your Eating Habits

A variety of genes influence your likelihood of binge eating. These genes have the potential to influence brain circuits that regulate hunger and mood.

One of the genes that our geneticists have looked into is your FTO gene

Your FTO gene is also linked to other traits such as:

  • Saturated Fat Metabolism 

How quickly do you metabolize saturated fats?

  • Satiety  

Trouble feeling full? Ask your DNA.

  • Appetite 

Appetite determines how much you naturally want to eat.

  • Preference for fatty foods 

The food you love to eat is heavily determined by your genetics. 

  • And weight change 

Research suggests that for some people, genes account for 25% of their predisposition to be overweight/underweight, while for others, the genetic influence is as high as 70% to 80%. 

Want to get personalized diet insights tailored to your DNA? Check out our nutrition report now


Certain genetic variants may increase your likelihood of binge eating, but other factors including your lifestyle and environment can also trigger it.

Here are some other external factors that can affect your binge eating tendencies:

Parents and families. 

If you often see your parents overeat, you’re more likely to pick up these behaviours.   The practices you acquire from the people around you may have an impact on your eating habits. 

Anxiety and Stress.

 People tend to binge eat after going through a serious, stressful situation. It is important to note that emotional eating is not always a sign of binge eating.

Depression. 

Depression may increase your likelihood of binge-eating. In fact, about 50% of people who tend to binge eat are also depressed. 

Excessive calorie restriction.

 An attempt to shed a few pounds might sometimes result in binge eating. This is particularly true when people try to lose weight by cutting meals or consuming too little. If they don’t attain their target weight, they may feel so bad about themselves that they overeat.

If you want to lose weight, the best DNA test will help you do that based on the way your own, individual body works. 

Final Thoughts

Binge-eating can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for many diseases. 

That’s why it’s important to know your genetic predisposition to binge eating in order to get the right prevention management from health care professionals.

Already taken a DNA test with 23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, Living DNA, or Family Tree DNA?

Upload your DNA to get personalized insights that can help you better manage your diet. You can learn more here.