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Blame Your Obesity on Momma? Do Something About It!

September 2, 2010

Obesity appears to be genetic. If your parents were overweight, there is a strong possibility you will be overweight too.

Honestly, I think there is more to it than genetics. Nature and nurture have equal roles to play in the growing obesity problem. If a child’s parents are heavy, odds are they are passing down bad eating and activity habits. We can also point the finger toward food politics, the pervasiveness of highly processed low-nutrition foods and other factors.

For the moment, let’s focus on genetics.

If you are genetically predisposed to being obese, there is good news: you can overcome your genes and fit into your skinnier jeans. A new study reveals that regular physical exercise can cut your genetic risk by as much as 40 percent.

The study is published in the current issue of the Public Library of American Science Medicine journal. Researchers studied more than 20,000 residents of Norwich, Britain.

Most of the study participants inherited 10 or more genetic variants that increase risk for obesity; some inherited as many as 17 variants. While these variants appears to play a determining role in Body Mass Index (BMI) for sedentary study participants, those who were physically active reduced their risk of becoming obese significantly. Forty percent.

Just by exercising regularly.

I love this from Ruth Loos of Britain’s Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit. She says the results of the study challenge the “deterministic view of the genetic predisposition to obesity.”

In other words, I suppose, just because you could be obese, doesn’t mean you have to be obese.


From → Fatness, Weight Loss

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