Don't blame yourself for being fat. It's not your fault that you've gained weight over Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break. It doesn't even matter that you sit on the couch all day and eat potato chips.
It's FTO's fault.
FTO is a fat gene that has been identified by scientists for the first time and promises to explain why some people easily put on weight, while others with similar lifestyles don't. Research shows that people that inherit one version of the gene will be 70 per cent more likely to be obese than those who
inherited the other variant.
Scientists say this is a highly significant discovery as many diseases related to obesity like diabetes and cancer could be understood further.
Here is a description of the genetic trigger:
— The FTO gene comes in two varieties. 16% of people have two copies of the
high-risk variant, 50% have one high-risk and one low-risk, and 34% of
people have two low-risk variants
— Those with two high-risk copies have a 70% greater risk of obesity
than those with two low-risk copies. They weigh an average of 3kg more
— Those with one high-risk copy have a 30% greater risk of obesity. They
weigh an average of 1.2kg more
If the biological function of the gene, known as FTO, can now be understood, it could become possible to design drugs that manipulate it to help people to control their weight.
Most people who go on diets soon gain back any lost weight, a UCLA study suggests.
Every health check-up should include a measure of waist circumference in addition to a weigh-in, according to sweeping new guidelines on the prevention and management of obesity.