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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?

Published September 11, 2008 11:57 AM by Todd Smith
A new scientific study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine has "revealed" that the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene is not wholly responsible for weight problems. Apparently, diet and exercise also play a role, according to the not-so-ground-breaking study, which scientifically concluded that a person's level of exercise can influence the impact of the genetic predisposition to being overweight.

"Our results strongly suggest that the increased risk of obesity due to genetic susceptibility can be blunted through physical activity," the authors conclude. "These findings emphasize the important role of physical activity in public health efforts to combat obesity, particularly in genetically susceptible individuals."

For the study, researchers measured participants' physical activity level with a device called an "accelerometer"--which is worn on the hip and measures body movement--and found that being genetically predisposed to obesity "had no effect on those with above average physical activity scores."

The results of the study are published in the Sept. 8, 2008, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

posted by Todd Smith


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