‘Obesity gene’ can’t stop you losing weight

The FTO (fat mass and obesity-associated protein) gene, often called “obesity gene”, is an enzyme that causes increased body weight in some people. Publicity often mentions this factor when refer to the increased obesity in modern society and many obese people use this as explanation to their excess of weight (sometimes even without being diagnosed with it).

What’s even worse, many of them use “obesity gene” as an excuse for not being physically active or overeating. The common logic behind this sounds like this – if it’s something I was born with, there’s nothing I can do to change it. So I can just as well don’t bother about exercise or diet at all, right?
Wrong. A new study shows that this “obesity gene” doesn’t affect your ability to lose weight through the traditional ways to shed pounds – through diet, exercise and weight-loss supplements. People with the FTO gene have the same response to weight-loss measures as those without it. What’s far more important than DNA is that particular person’s environment in which he lives.

In this research 10,000 people were involved to determine the connection between the FTO gene and weight-loss.
On the moment when study began, participants with FTO gene were about 2 pounds heavier than their counterparts. During the test, however, no link between the FTO gene and participant’s ability to lose weight was found. Also, participant’s age, gender, weight-loss plan and other factors didn’t affect the results.

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Obesity is a growing global public health crisis. The study authors, led by John Mathers, a professor of human nutrition at Newcastle University in England, estimated that 2.1 billion adults worldwide are overweight or obese.
The researchers said ongoing efforts to curb the epidemic should focus on helping people find ways to live healthier, such as improving eating habits and getting regular physical activity.

These strategies, the researchers added, would help people achieve long-term weight loss whether they have genes associated with obesity or not.

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