Causes of genetic obesity

Study Clarifies Causes of Obesity: Why Are Fat People Difficult to Lose Weight?

Why are people fat and have problems losing weight? More than 400 scientists have teamed up to investigate the causes of obesity. As part of the most extensive genetic study on obesity to date, they were able to identify numerous previously unknown genes in the hereditary system that significantly influence the risk of obesity and the distribution of fat on the body.

Genetics of 250,000 Europeans examined In the course of the study, the scientists examined the genetics of almost 250,000 Europeans, since in addition to diet and lifestyle, genetic factors are also decisive for the development of obesity. In addition to the 14 genes already known that influence the risk of being overweight, the researchers were able to discover 18 new ones that also influence body mass. They have also found 13 other hereditary systems that control the distribution of fat on the body. Joel Hirschhorn from Children's Hospital in Boston emphasized that this explains why "different people (...) are differently susceptible to being overweight". “Some don't pay attention to what they eat or how much exercise they do, and still don't gain weight. Others are constantly fighting to keep their weight from skyrocketing, ”explained Hirschhorn. The genetic factors now determined form a relatively good explanatory model for this.

Genes influence fat distribution - especially in women The results presented in the online pre-publication of the journal "Nature Genetics" are new, especially with regard to the connection of the discovered genes with the energy metabolism. So far it was not known that 13 genes have a direct influence on the fat distribution on the body or the fat ratio from hip to waist. The scientists emphasize that about half of the hereditary factors discovered are of particular importance to women. (fp, 10/17/2010)

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Author and source information

Video: Obesity Genetic Research Network, Dept. of Clinical Genetics, Amsterdam University Medical Centers

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