September 20, 2021

Obesity Linked to Our Genes

obese obesity fat overeating

Obesity has become a more important focus as health care costs continue to rise in an effort to keep up

Researchers have completed two studies and have discovered 18 new gene sites linked to obesity levels and another 13 that play a role in determining obesity.

These findings are based on a study of nearly 250,000 people, making this the largest effort to discover where obesity comes from.

The study was conducted in Cambridge, UK at the Genetic Aetiology of Obesity Progam in the MRC Epidemiology Unity at the Institute of Metabolic Science. The research was carried out by Ruth Loos.

The study shows that the more obesity genes some people have, the greater chance of being obese. Those individuals that carried 38 or more BMI associated genes weighed on average, 15 to 20 pounds more than those with less than 22.

They also studied weight distribution, to try and better understand those with medical issues. Belly fat is a risk factor with Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers know that weight gain comes from consuming more food than calories burned. It’s not just genes that play a role in weight gain. We have a society that promotes fast food and discourages exercise. Even though you have some people that don’t pay attention to what they eat and they keep the weight off, others gain weight despite efforts to exercise and eat healthy.

Researchers want to understand this and be better able to care for people. With over a third of the U.S. falling into the obese category, we are seeing health care costs rising to keep up.

Being able to translate their findings into tools that clinics and consumers can use is still a few years off. More research is needed, not just for genes, but to identify specific areas of the human genome.