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‘Genetic Dice are Loaded Against’ Obese People

Everyone who has tried to lose weight will be familiar with the frustration that often accompanies weight loss efforts. Sometimes, it may seem as though people who are overweight are fighting a losing battle, while slim people can eat whatever they want. New research suggests that this may be true — at least from a genetic standpoint.

Why is it that some people do not manage to lose weight despite their best efforts, while others can eat whatever they please and stay thin? The answer, suggests a new study, may be genetic.

Sadaf Farooqi, a professor at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, led the new research, which compares the genetic makeup of people who are overweight with that of people who are thin.

As the researchers explain, genetic association studies so far have focused on people who are overweight, as well as zooming in on body mass index (BMI) and obesity.

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that a genetic association study has also examined thin and healthy individuals.

Prof. Farooqi and her team analyzed the DNA of 14,040 people in total and published the results of their analysis in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Obese people have a higher genetic score
The researchers took DNA samples from 1,622 thin participants, 1,985 people with “severe early-onset obesity,” and a further 10,433 control participants whose weight was within the normal range.

About 74 percent of people in the thin cohort had family members who were persistently thin.

 

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Source: Medical News Today