The study – published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – reveals certain variations within the FTO and BDNF genes – which have been previously linked to obesity – may play a role in eating habits that can cause obesity.
Researchers from The Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, USA say their findings suggest it may be possible to minimize genetic risk by changing eating patterns and being vigilant about food choices, in addition to adopting other healthy lifestyle habits, like regular physical activity.
"Understanding how our genes influence obesity is critical in trying to understand the current obesity epidemic, yet it's important to remember that genetic traits alone do not mean obesity is inevitable," said lead author Dr Jeanne McCaffery.
"We show that at least some of the genetic influence on obesity may occur through patterns of dietary intake," she said. "The good news is that eating habits can be modified, so we may be able to reduce one's genetic risk for obesity by changing these eating patterns."