Overweight? It could be your genes

Overweight? It could be your genes

Trying to lose weight can be tough, and new research suggests it’s even harder if a person is genetically predisposed to have a higher risk of obesity.

A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that women who had certain genetic markers gained weight even though they were exercising. Women who did not have those genetic markers lost weight while following the same workout regimen.

“There is just a higher wall to climb if you have a high genetic predisposition [to obesity],” said Yann Klimentidis, study author and assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Arizona, in an interview. However, he noted that “exercise is good [for your health] in lots of ways, not just body composition and weight.”

The one-year study asked participants to engage in high-intensity resistance exercise and moderate-impact exercise for at least one hour, three days a week, while not making any changes to their diet. The researchers found that women whose genes put them at low risk of obesity lost 2.9 pounds, yet the women who were at a higher risk of obesity gained an average of 2.6 pounds.

“Just as a person has a predisposition to co-morbidities such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer, genetics does play a role in a person’s risk for obesity,” says Adriana Guerrero, health navigator and exercise physiologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “However, despite a person’s level of risk for obesity, it is in every person’s best interest to maintain a regular exercise program in order to sustain optimal physical function to achieve the best possible quality of life.”

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Comments

3 Comments

  1. I’ve always said that you have to pick your relatives carefully lol.

  2. “The one-year study asked participants to engage in high-intensity resistance exercise and moderate-impact exercise for at least one hour, three days a week, while not making any changes to their diet. The researchers found that women whose genes put them at low risk of obesity lost 2.9 pounds, yet the women who were at a higher risk of obesity gained an average of 2.6 pounds.”

    This result should have thrown a red flag way in the air that something else is a miss. Unless the group of people with the predisposition were gaining weight at an even higher rate and exercise only decreased that rate (still allowing for total overall gain in weight) then this could make sense. However, that would indicate that the predisposition has little to do with the exercise of the individual (as the rate in decline of weight may have been similar with the normal group) and more with their intake of calories. It would be interesting to see if the study concluded that the genetics predisposed a person to ingest larger amounts of calories than their normal counter parts. A person’s genetics could predispose them to desire and thus accrue calories more than others, which in evolutionary terms makes sense and is a clear advantage in a low caloric environment, but when we live in an environment where food is plentiful this trait backfires. Still, we have a higher decision making part of our brain which would allow us to overcome baser impulses so these people can still lose weight and get healthy it’s just going to take exercise AND diet. This fact, in light of everything else, does not seem that profound or surprising. So in conclusion, genetics is still not an excuse for being unhealthy and obese. Stay healthy for your family, friends, and love ones!

    • What anon said. Some people eat more when they start exercising. Plus, without reporting whether weighed. gained/lost was muscle, fat, or water the statement is meaningless.

About the Author

Mickey Ramirez
Mickey Ramirez

Mickey Ramirez, health enews contributor, is the director of Brand Services. He enjoys kimchi, honesty and a room with a view. He claims to not be a writer, but he occasionally learns information that is just too important to keep to himself.