Posted on Sun, 3 Oct 10
Have you been blaming your waist line on your genes? While genetics may play a role in the development of obesity even those with the strongest genetic tendency can dramatically reduce their risk.
In a study to determine the impact of physical activity on the genetic tendency towards obesity researchers from the United Kingdom tracked 12 genetic variants known to raise obesity risk in over 20,000 people (1). The study discovered that even people who are genetically susceptible to obesity can benefit from regular physical activity. It was found that “living a physically active lifestyle is associated with a 40% reduction in the genetic predisposition to common obesity.”
Researcher Ruth Loos of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge commented that "our findings challenge the popular myth that obesity is unavoidable if it runs in the family. We see this as a hopeful message.” You can get the benefits without running marathons, she says. You can walk the dog, bike to work or take the stairs: "Being active about 30 minutes a day is a good start in reducing the effects of the genes (2)." Your genes it seems, are not your fate.
1. Li S, Zhao JH, Luan J, et al. Physical activity attenuates the genetic predisposition to obesity in 20,000 men and women from EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. PLoS Med. 2010 Aug 31;7(8).
2. Hellmich N. 'Fat genes' don't mean fat jeans. USA TODAY. 09-01-10.