Obesity Gene Won't Stop You from Getting Slim

No link between ‘obesity gene’ and ability to lose weight, say experts

Obesity Gene Won't Stop You from Getting Slim

If you're part of a family where most of you struggle with weight control, you may feel that the odds are stacked against you when it comes to losing weight. Not helpful when 'fear of failure' can stop you in your tracks.

The good news is that new research has shown that people with the so-called obesity gene, FTO, do just as well losing weight as people without.

Experts have been somewhat divided on this issue. Some argue that genes play a significant role in the development of obesity, while others say that changes in our environment are responsible.

So an international team of researchers set out to test the relationship between the FTO gene and weight loss interventions. They used data from almost 10,000 participants in eight randomised control trials.

The findings, recently published in the BMJ, suggest that carrying the FTO gene does not appear to affect a person’s ability to lose weight. 

Participants with the FTO gene weighed a little more (2lbs) than those not carrying the gene at the start of the trials. However, the researchers found no relation between FTO and the ability to lose weight using diet and exercise.  

The authors conclude that future strategies for managing obesity should:

“focus on improving lifestyle behaviours, principally eating patterns and physical activity, since these will be effective in achieving sustained weight loss.”

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