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Is Obesity Linked to Your Genes?

Is Obesity Linked to Your Genes?

If you have tried every weight loss measure without any success, you probably have your genes to blame for. Read more on the relation between obesity and genetic factors in this article.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Obesity is the second most common cause of death in United States. About two third of adult population in the US is overweight and about a quarter of them are obese. Obesity has also become a grave problem in children. Until now, unhealthy food, inactive lifestyle were believed to be the causes of obesity. However, a recent research has presented an altogether different angle to this situation. According to the results of this study, your genetic makeup also contributes to where and how much fat you will store.

Is Obesity Linked to Your Genes?

You may have observed that certain people simply do not lose weight no matter how less they eat or how hard they work out. Similarly, two people following same weight loss program also do not show identical results. This fact has always puzzled scientists as to why weight loss results could differ. Besides, it has also discouraged many people from following a weight loss regimen. The difference in weight loss results of two people irrespective of following identical diet and workout plan, points to the possible link between weight gain and genetic makeup of individuals. Several studies were performed to demonstrate the effects of genes on the weight of people. We have listed the results of three such studies.

Study #1
This study found out a particular gene that contributed to obesity in European population. Incidentally, this gene is so common that about half the population carries it. Weight gain due to this gene is directly proportional to the number of copies of this gene that you have. If you have one copy of this gene, you are likely to be overweight by about 1.2 kg. Two copies of the same gene make you overweight by about 3 kg than average population. About 50% people carry at least one copy of this offending gene. Two copies are possessed by about 16% of the population. Of these, 67% are likely to be heavily obese.

Study #2
This study discovered 18 offending genes that contributed to overall obesity. Some of these genes interfered with the metabolism while others contributed to increase in BMI. The more number of these offending genes you have, the greater your BMI will be.

Study #3
The other study identified 13 genes that can be linked with a predisposition of a person to store fat. Depending upon the DNA structure of these 13 genes, you are likely to store fat around waist or in thighs and hips. Thus, this study explains why some people are apple shaped while others are pear shaped.

Genetic Obesity and its Implications

The above studies play a significant role in deciding the predisposition of a person for obesity related diseases. However, only the understanding of a cause of obesity is not enough to control it. Proactive measures must be taken to control the problem of obesity. There is really no alternative to eating healthy food in right proportion and exercising, if you really wish to lose those extra pounds. Thus, while the importance of the above studies in identifying the cause of obesity is appreciated, it does little to prevent the problem of obesity. Nonetheless, this study can help in identifying the predisposition of a child to obesity in adulthood. This may help the parents to take prophylactic measures from young age itself.

If you have been plagued by the thought of why weight loss does not come easily to you, this article should have provided an explanation to you. This understanding should help you in reaching toward your weight loss goal.