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Study finds gene linked to obesity

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

FTO gene may make weight management difficult for some people

Have you struggled with weight loss or just maintaining a healthy weight? Well a new study from the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. may have an answer for why so many people continue to struggle.

A new study has found a link to the FTO gene and cravings for high-calories and fatty foods.

A new study has found a link to the FTO gene and cravings for high-calories and fatty foods.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/28/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Science, Technology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Published in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry, a study suggests that a gene that has been linked to obesity is thought to trigger hunger pangs, which affect a person's ability to resist impulse eating.

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The study could explain why people with the gene struggle to maintain a healthy weight as they age, suggesting some people are predisposed to becoming obese, researchers say.

There have been various studies which have previously linked versions of the FTO gene to chronic obesity, but scientists have struggled to determine how the gene affects a person's likelihood to be obese, said Ruth Loos, director of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

This new study has found that those who are middle-aged or older, and have one or two copies of this gene, appear to eat more high-calorie and fatty foods as they age.

Scans performed on the 700 participants found lower brain function in the parts of the brain that govern a person's impulses and perception of food texture and taste.

The report's senior author, Dr. Madhav Thambisetty, chief of clinical and translational neuroscience at the National Institute of Aging's Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience said: "Sure enough, people who carry one or two copies of the FTO variant show increased intake of high-calorie or fatty food as they age."

"There may be a common biological factor underlying both the risk for obesity during again, as well as obesity-related behavior like your ability to resist impulse eating."

This study means that those with a genetic risk for obesity face an uphill battle to maintain healthy weight standards, but Loos said that the study does not prove that a genetic predisposition to obesity means a person will be obese.

"You may be genetically susceptible, but by living a healthy lifestyle you can overcome your genetics. You are not destined to be obese."

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