Beat the 'fat gene'... with exercise

There's good news and bad news for slimmers today - the good news is, exercise is the key... the bad news is, the 'fat gene' is no longer an excuse to avoid the gym.

exercise beats the fat gene
exercise beats the fat gene

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A new study suggests that the 'fat' or 'junk food gene', which causes roughly two-thirds of Brits to crave high-fat, sugary foods, is no barrier to weight loss and those who carry the gene could melt away those excess pounds by getting active.

Researchers at the Medical Research Council's Epidemiology Unit studies data from 220,000 adults, focusing their examination on genes, weight and exercise habits.

They found, as has been previously shown, that the flawed version of the fat gene (or FTO gene, as it is known) is indeed linked to obesity. They also found that patients who shunned a fitness regime were 30 per cent more likely to be obese, while those who exercised regularly increased their odds of becoming overweight by only 22 per cent.

The study, reported in the PLoS Medicine journal, that regular exercise could reduce the effect of the FTO gene by 27 per cent.

Scientists found the same was true of those with two copies of the gene, with the chance of becoming obese reduced by 29 per cent for those who got out and about.

In conclusion, the editors of the journal wrote, "The wider public view of genetically determined obesity not being amenable to exercise is incorrect."

Time to pull on those trainers, guys.

Do you believe your genes make you prone to obesity or is exercise always the key to staying slim? Leave a comment below...