Genetics No Excuse for Obesity: Scientists

Exercise can easily offset predisposition
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2010 3:13 PM CDT
An overweight person eats in London, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(Newser) – The idea that your genetics might doom you to obesity is a “myth,” a team of scientists has concluded. Yes, some people are genetically predisposed to being overweight, but after examining the genes and habits of 20,000 subjects, researchers at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge found that an active lifestyle could make up much of the difference. Subjects who exercised were able to shed about 40% of the weight their “fat genes” saddled them with.

“The findings challenge the popular myth that obesity is unavoidable if it runs in the family,” the study concluded. “People don’t have to run marathons to make a difference either,” the lead author told the Daily Telegraph. “Walking the dog or working in the garden all counts. It goes to show we’re not complete slaves to our genetic makeup.”

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