Genes are to be partly blamed for obesity

enes are to be partly blamed for obesity

If people face problems in keeping themselves slim, then their DNA cannot be blamed completely.

People, who have “obesity” genes are more likely to be heavier if they do not include enough sleep and work out in their lifestyle, as stated by Timothy Frayling, a professor in the University of Exeter Medical School in England.

“You can’t change your genes – but they only explain part of your weight,” said Frayling. This implies that people, who genetically keep on gaining weight can prevent this by working out and taking a balanced diet.

Frayling with his researchers examined nearly 85,000 people, aged 40-70, in England and examined their sleep patterns and physical activity level. The accelerometers are given to the participants that noted their sleep quality and exercise measurements. The study concluded that genetics is accounted for obesity risk not in all the participants, but only in a few.


The authors revealed that a person with average height and genetic risk factor of 10 put on an average of 8 pounds of weight throughout his/her life if not engaging in any exercise, but he/she gained only 6 pounds on an average when engaged in physical activities.

The above results were similar in the case of sleeplessness. Participants with genetic risks were more likely to have greater body mass index (BMI, body fat measurement based on weight and height) if they did not sleep well during the night.

“For public health and diet and exercise interventions, our study suggests there will be ‘bigger bang for the buck’ by focusing limited resources on people who are most susceptible due to their genes and their lifestyles,” said Frayling.

“Obesity is an energy storage disease that is caused by hormonal imbalances,” stated Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief obesity surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City. He further added, “Your genetic make-up plays a role, but your activity and the environment also influence your genetic expression.”

“There are very small number of people who face morbid obesity where it’s purely genetic,” Kane stated. “In most of these cases, people might need to exercise way more than the average person, and they might need to change their diet dramatically.”

The research of Frayling and his fellows was demonstrated at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, Orlando.