Blame it on your genes? Researchers from The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center say individuals with variations in certain “obesity genes” tend to eat more meals and snacks, consume more calories per day and often choose the same types of high fat, sugary foods.
The findings suggest it may be possible to minimize genetic risk by changing one’s eating patterns and being vigilant about food choices, in addition to adopting other healthy lifestyle habits, like regular physical activity.
Understanding how our genes influence obesity is critical in trying to understand the current obesity epidemic, yet it’s important to remember that genetic traits alone do not mean obesity is inevitable
Our lifestyle choices are critical when it comes to determining how thin or heavy we are, regardless of your genetic traits.
However, uncovering genetic markers can possibly pinpoint future interventions to control obesity in those who are genetically predisposed.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene is at increased risk for obesity. The genes have also been linked with overeating in children and this is one of the first studies to extend this finding to adults. BDNF expressed in the part of the brain that controls eating and appetite, although the mechanisms by which these gene variations influence obesity is still unknown.
Variations in the FTO gene specifically were significantly associated with a greater number of meals and snacks per day, greater percentage of energy from fat and more servings of fats, oils and sweets. The findings are largely consistent with previous research in children.
BDNF variations consumed more servings from the dairy and the meat, eggs, nuts and beans food groups.
Obesity — may play a role in eating habits that can cause obesity.