Popular Science

'Incredible genes' can only do so much to counteract an unhealthy lifestyle

Your genes are only part of you.

strands of DNA

Your DNA is only part of who you are.


What defines our health? Scientists know it’s some combination of genes, the environment, and the choices we make. But which one has the most impact? Last week, results of Donald Trump’s annual physical showed that, despite boasting a diet of high-fat, low-fiber foods, our President isn’t in bad health for a 71-year-old. His doctor, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, says that’s due to “incredible genes.” How much can your genetic material protect you from unhealthy lifestyle choices?

First, a. These units of DNA are passed down from parent to child, and we each have around 25,000 of them. An individual gene ; it simply instructs your body to produce certain proteins at certain times. The combination of those genetic instructions can create physical traits, but health is a little more complicated. There is no gene or set of genes that make a person generally more fit or healthy than the rest of the population.

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