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Exercise Reduces Effect of Obesity Genes by 40%

September 1, 2010
Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Image via Wikipedia

A British study of 20k subjects found that physically active individuals with genetic predispositions to obesity were far less likely to be overweight than their sedentary peers.

The researchers tested for 12 known obesity markers then determined the relationship between quantity of genes (you can have more than one gene that predisposes you to obesity) and body weight.

Physically active subjects showed 40% less probability of excess weight per “fat gene” than subjects who did not exercise.

What it means:

Another excuse bites the dust. Even if you do inherent multiple genes for obesity, exercising dramatically reduces the potential effects of these genes.

You were not born to be overweight.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 12:40 pm

    HI there EWL! Super cool graphic that gets me envious as I wish I could do that! On the topic – If both parents are obese, the child has an 80-90% likelihood of being obese so the odds are tough. You are on target that activity and lifestyle can help with those odds. And those born to obese parents need our support, understanding, encouragement, and patience for sure! On the other side, a child born to two lean parents has a low 15-20% chance of being obese. Hmmm, time to call my mom and thank her for the lean genes!

    • September 1, 2010 1:06 pm

      Those statistics consider environmental factors as well. Your obese parents are likely feeding you the same type and quantity of food that is maintaining their weight, and are likely not teaching you an active lifestyle.

      It certainly does take a lot of time and dedication to unlearn those habits, but at least it is possible!

      • September 7, 2010 11:34 am

        Perhaps you’re both right — obese parents are the #1 predictor of childhood obesity, and parents have a huge responsibility to set their kids on right course.

        Check out what we’re doing to encourage parents to be healthy role models: Coalition of Angry Kids.

        EWL and FandF: Since this is a topic you’re both passionate about, we could do a special offer for your blog readers.

        Thanks and keep up the great blogging!

  2. September 7, 2010 11:46 am

    That’s awesome! I also love it that you guys are working with Exercise Is Medicine to encourage doctors to prescribe exercise.

    Both great campaigns!

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