Twins show genes may play a role in body image
October 3rd, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Twins show genes may play a role in body image

Blame for a teen’s unhealthy body image often falls on the media. The barrage of size-zero supermodels and waif-like celebrities walking the red carpet could push anyone to curse their shape, right?

A study published this week in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds a new culprit may also be partially to blame: Our genes.

Researchers wondered why only a small percentage of the population developed an eating disorder when everyone was being exposed to the same images. They hypothesized that certain genes could make a person more or less prone to accepting the “thin ideal.”

The study

Lead author Jessica Suisman, a clinical psychology graduate student at Michigan State University, and her colleagues analyzed data from 343 female twins aged 12 to 22 years old.

More than half of the twins were identical; 138 were fraternal. Identical twins share all of their genes, while fraternal twins only share 50%.

Each twin was asked nine questions from a standard body image questionnaire that determined the degree to which they wanted to look like various media personalities.

The researchers also examined the environmental factors that the twins shared (their parents, their school) and the factors they didn’t share (different friend groups, extracurricular activities, etc).

The results

Identical twins were significantly more likely to have similar scores on the questionnaire than fraternal twins, suggesting genetics play a role in determining whether or not we will strive to look like the celebrities we admire.

“This sort of design doesn’t tell us which genes (are involved),” Suisman said. “We do know that there isn’t a single gene for thin-ideal internalization. It’s small effects from numerous genes.”

The researchers also found that shared environmental factors had little influence on the twins. In other words, sharing a house didn’t mean the twins would have similar views on body image.

Going forward

Suisman hopes to take a closer look in the future at what might be “underpinning” the genetic effects they found.

Personality traits are often decided by genes, she says, and may play a part in determining who’s more likely to develop an eating disorder. For instance, other studies have suggested perfectionism could lead to an unhealthy body image.

soundoff (653 Responses)
  1. RV Repair Shop

    Very nice article. I absolutely appreciate this website. Keep it up!


    June 17, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Shop


    June 17, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair

    Great information. Lucky me I found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    June 17, 2021 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Around Me

    Excellent post. I'm dealing with a few of these issues as well..


    June 17, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. https://www.songmanhits.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    June 17, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Shop

    I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 17, 2021 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Boote

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website
    is really good.

    June 17, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. camping near me

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 17, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pawn shop near me


    June 17, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. food places near me


    June 17, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. firehouse subs near me

    This is the perfect web site for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 17, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. pizza deals near me


    June 18, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. mailbox near me


    June 18, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 늑대닷컴

    you're actually a excellent webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing.
    It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork.
    you have performed a fantastic activity in this matter!

    June 18, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. wendy's near me

    Excellent blog you've got here.. Itís difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 18, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. cheapest gas near me

    You've made some good points there. I looked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    June 18, 2021 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lin Yount

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs


    June 18, 2021 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 18, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nearby RV Repairs

    I love it when people come together and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!


    June 18, 2021 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Shops Nearby


    June 18, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this in my search for something concerning this.


    June 18, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Kudos!


    June 18, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    June 18, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Right here is the right blog for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that's been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    June 18, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Hello there, I do believe your web site might be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!


    June 18, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 18, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. protests near me


    June 18, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 19, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. traffic near me

    This website definitely has all of the info I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 19, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Near Me Now

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your web site.


    June 19, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Camper Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.


    June 19, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Apartment to rent Yobe

    This info is invaluable. How can I find out more?

    June 19, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Apartment to rent Nasarawa

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog
    and wanted to say that I've really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    June 19, 2021 at 05:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 19, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 19, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Around Me


    June 19, 2021 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Luz Vacations

    Heya are using WordPress for your site platform?

    I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make
    your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    June 19, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. tire repair near me


    June 19, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Shops Near My Location


    June 19, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 19, 2021 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nearby RV Repair

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    June 19, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repairs Near Me

    This is the right webpage for anybody who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!


    June 19, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Bet

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening
    a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You have
    performed an impressive job and our whole neighborhood
    shall be grateful to you.

    June 19, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. giá vách ngăn vệ sinh

    I do not even know the way I ended up right here, but I assumed this put up used to be good.
    I don't recognise who you might be but certainly you
    are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already.

    June 20, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Video Marketing Consultant

    May I just say what a relief to discover someone who really understands what they are discussing on the net. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


    June 20, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Video Marketing Business


    June 20, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. SEO Marketing Agency


    June 20, 2021 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.