Uncovering ‘fat genes’ in people could help preempt obesity, study shows
NEW YORK, May 27 — A new study adds to the growing evidence that the obesity epidemic could be caused by more than just poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. But before throwing in the gym towel, researchers are quick to point out that while some people pay be predisposed to obesity because of their genetic makeup, a healthy lifestyle can still help mitigate the outcome.
In the latest study published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ahead of the June issue, US researchers found that individuals with certain “obesity genes” known as FTO and BDNF genes tend to eat more meals and snacks and consume more calories a day, often reaching for foods that are high in fat and sugar like dairy products, meat, eggs, nuts and sweets.
For the study, more than 2,000 participants completed a questionnaire about their eating habits over the past six months and also underwent genotyping. Researchers then examined whether the genetic markers influenced the pattern or content of their diet.
Scientists suggest that uncovering genetic markers could help identify those who are at increased risk for obesity and prevent early onset through the implementation of healthy lifestyle interventions.
Another study published in the same journal in 2009 found that the risk of becoming obese is 2.5 times higher for those with double copies of obesity genes.
But more importantly, researchers found that the likelihood diminished with regular exercise and low-fat diets. — Afp-Relaxnews