A New Study Shows That Obesity And Thinness Are Hereditary

Genes play a significant role when it comes to whether a person is healthily thin or obese. Unfortunately, there is not much in one’s control when it comes to his weight.

Pointing at overweight people, many would suggest them to exercise and diet. However, though lifestyle changes do matter, genes play a huge role. A new study stresses on this further and reveals how both thinness and obesity can be hereditary.

What Did This New Study Reveal?

A new research led by Sadaf Farooqi who is the professor of metabolism and medicine at the Cambridge University has found out that whether a person is healthily thin or obese is determined majorly by his genes. This study has been published in the PLOS Genetics journal.

According to this research, that obese people have a higher genetic risk score whereas thin individuals have a lower genetic risk score. The lead researcher of this research stressed that people have way less control on their weight than they think. 40% of one’s weight is determined by one’s genes.

To study the link that genes and weight shared, the DNA of 14000 individuals was compared. Of these, 1622 were healthy thin people, 1985 were excessively obsess individuals and 10433 were people who weighed normal with a BMI ranging from 19 to 25.

The DNA samples of all these people were collected via their saliva or blood. A risk score was found, and it was noted that obese people had a higher risk score than the other two groups of people. This risk score was quite low in the case of thin people.

This study also found one more thing – it’s not only that thin people don’t have obese genes but that they also have a different type of genes that keeps them from gaining weight. The study, hence, concluded that both obesity and thinness are heritable.

Farooqi said that the next step of the study was to find which genes were responsible for keeping people thin. This could possibly help in finding out new weight loss strategies for those who don’t have the helpful genes that protect one against putting on weight.

Take Home Message

One’s weight is determined by several factors including physical activity, diet, gut health and genetics. A new study shows that genes play a massive role in determining one’s weight – whether a person is thin or obese, his genes are 40% responsible for it. Obese people have a high risk score while thin people have this factor low.

This study doesn’t only stress on the need to stop judging overweight people since several times their weight is not in their control, but it also suggests that healthy thin people have genes which protect them against weight gain. Further research is needed to figure out which genes exactly protect one against putting on weight.