'Obesity genes' may influence food choices

Related tags Nutrition Obesity

Variations in certain ‘obesity genes’ could mean certain people tend to eat more meals, consume more calories per day, and often choose the same types of high fat, sugary foods, says new research.

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."

The full study can be found by clicking here

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