Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Physical Activity Can Reverse Effects of Obesity Gene

Physical Activity Can Reverse Effects of Obesity GeneThe latest study on obesity offers people suffering from this “disease” the chance of improving their condition. Researchers have long emphasized the importance of physical activity in our daily life and the new study does not make any exception.

More exactly, it suggests that physical activity may reduce the risk of obesity in people with a genetic mutation that predisposes them to high body mass index. According to background information in the study, variations of a particular gene, known as the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene, are widely acknowledged to be linked with a high body mass index. These mutations occur in about 30 percent of European populations and are associated with a 1.75-kilogram (3.9 lb.) increase in body weight.

For the study, researchers at the University of Maryland studied DNA samples from 704 healthy Amish adults, average age 43.6. Fifty-four percent of men and 63.7 percent of women were overweight, while 10.1 percent of men and 30.5 percent of women were obese. The participants were also fitted with “accelerometers,” measuring their precise movements over a period of time.

The researchers surprisingly found that Amish people with the genetic variant were no more likely to be overweight than those who had the regular version of the gene as long as they exercised three to four hours every day.

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