Any woman who has struggled to lose weight will know just how disheartening it is when your hard work on the diet front fails to materialise on the scales. But according to scientists, at least a third of women can blame their genes.
According to the Daily Mail, researchers at Maastricht University in Holland have identified a mutated DNA strand that makes some women two and a half times more likely to put on a stone in weight.
Having followed the weight gain and loss of more than 5,000 men and women over the course of ten years, the scientists found the impaired version of the MMP2 gene was common in women, but not in men.
The gene fuels the development of fatty tissue, causing women to gain weight more easily. Dr Freek Bouwman, who worked on the study, reportedly claimed at least 30 per cent of women have the mutated strand of DNA, and hopes that the discovery of the gene may lead to tests that could pick out those women at risk of obesity in the future.
Some men suffer a similar problem with their own 'fat gene', FTO, which is thought to cause them to crave junk food.
The discovery of the gene should not dissuade women from sticking to a healthy diet, however. As Professor John Wilding, from the UK Association for the Study of Obesity, told the Mail: "People should still worry about what they eat.
"You can't change your genes, but you can change your behaviour."
Would it help you or hinder you to know that you carry the 'fat gene'? Leave your comments below...