The obesity gene is not what’s keeping you fat — study

The obesity gene is not tipping the scale against you in the battle of the bulge.



The BMJ revealed there is “no link between the obesity gene and the ability to lose weight” in a groundbreaking report released Tuesday night, which means that this gene alone isn’t holding you back from fitting into your jeans.

People carrying the FTO genotype, common called the obesity gene, responded equally well to eating healthier and cutting calories, exercising more and trying drug-based weight loss interventions as those trying to slim down without the genetic predisposition to gain weight.

Researchers analyzed data from almost 10,000 participants in eight randomized trials, and found no relationship between the FTO gene and the ability of people to lower their body mass indexes, shed pounds and whittle their waistlines regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and baseline BMI. This suggests that environmental factors play a greater role in remaining obese, even if some experts argue that genetics play a significant role in putting the weight on in the first place.

The study authors say this is “an important finding for the development of effective weight loss interventions in the context of the global epidemic of obesity," especially considering some 2.1 billion adults are now overweight or obese around the world.

This report fails to take other obesity-related genes into account, however, which might complicate weight loss response. But it makes a compelling case for focusing on improving lifestyle behaviors like diet and exercise in overcoming obesity, rather than zeroing in on personalized, individual interventions based on someone’s genetic makeup.

“A rebalancing of research towards whole systems approaches including environmental drivers may be of greater benefit to the population in the long term,” said Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, in a linked editorial.

There could be a one-size-fits-all approach to battling obesity some day, after all.

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/obesity-gene-not-keeping-fat-study-article-1.2799816

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