Much like researchers have discovered that some people have a genetic predisposition to obesity, researchers have now found a link that may explain the broad cultural differences between European and Asian diets. A DNA “switch” that controls the galanin gene — responsible for levels of appetite and thirst, as well as cravings — is found to be weaker in 16 percent of Europeans and 30 percent of Asians, as the HuffPo reports.
When the switch is turned on too strongly, as it appears to be in a larger percentage of Europeans, we tend to crave more fatty foods and alcohol. As one of the researchers at the University of Aberdeen explains it, “These results give us a glimpse into early European life where brewing and dairy produce were important sources of calories during the winter months. Thus, a preference for food with a higher fat and alcohol content would have been important for survival.” Right. And thus those of us of European descent who’ve relocated to warmer climes can never hope to see our abs.