'Gene driven obesity is a myth'
London, (IANS) Obesity researchers have rubbished the excuse that we are 'slaves' to our genes. They found that by exercising people could slough off 40 percent of the extra weight that 'fat genes' laid on them.
Although some have a tendency to be overweight, scientists at a Medical Research Council unit in Cambridge discovered that an active lifestyle could counter a person's genetic inheritance, reports the Telegraph.
The researchers based their conclusions after analysing the genes of over 20,000 men and women aged 39 to 79 years, looking for 12 genetic markers that up body mass index (BMI) - a height to weight ratio - and obesity risk.
They then asked them to fill out questionnaires about their physical activity levels at work and elsewhere, according to the journal Public Library of Science-Medicine.
They concluded: 'The findings challenge the popular myth that obesity is unavoidable if it runs in the family and could guide future treatments to combat the obesity crisis.'
Ruth Loos from the Medical Research Council, who led the study, said: 'Our research proves that even those who have the highest risk of obesity from their genes can improve their health by taking some form of daily physical activity.'
She added: 'People don't have to run marathons to make a difference either - walking the dog or working in the garden all counts.
'It goes to show we're not complete slaves to our genetic make-up and really can make a big difference to our future health by changing our behaviour.