'Fat gene' found in many

JUST in time for Christmas, a major new study offers some hopeful news about fat and fate, and about the consequences of the choices we make.

For the research, investigators tallied the results of dozens of studies about the effects of exercise on the so-called fat gene, which is believed to increase the risk that carriers will be overweight or obese by 12 per cent or more.

Scientists first identified this gene, the ''fat mass and obesity-associated'' gene, or FTO gene, several years ago, and it's distressingly common. By most estimates, about 65 per cent of people of European or African descent and perhaps 44 per cent of Asians carry some version of it.

These findings would seem to suggest that most of us are doomed to be tubby, an enervating idea - and one that might even be self-fulfilling.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine early this year, volunteers who learned they carried the FTO gene or similar fat-promoting genes frequently turned afterward to heedless bingeing, consuming more fatty foods in the next 90 days than they had in the preceding months, presumably because they believed that their fate, at least in terms of weight, was sealed.

 

Read more at Brisbane Times



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