A study, published in the PLOS Genetics journal, looked at why some individuals seem to never gain weight no matter what they eat.
In this study, university researchers in the United Kingdom compared the DNA of 1,985 severely obese volunteers, 1,622 thin individuals, and a normal-weight control group of 10,433. They observed that thin individuals have genetics on their side.
Researchers by using genome-wide genotype data showed that persistent healthy slimness is a heritable trait just like severe obesity.
One of the researchers, Dr. Eddie Fatakhov, said that many studies have compared gene variants of obese patients and normal body weight, but only two prior studies discovered the genes of thin people.
Hence, this is the largest study which has compared the genetic variants among thin individuals to the control group of normal weight and severely obese patients. On the basis of this study, researchers created a genetic risk score for the obesity development later in life.
What did the study find?
Volunteers studied for their slimness had to have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18, be in good strength without any medical conditions or eating disorders.
The scientists collected saliva samples for the analysis of DNA. Then the participants were asked questions regarding their lifestyle and general health. Research like this looking at this population was not conducted before.
But regardless of the role genetics may be playing in obesity and thinness, the doctors stress the importance of some other factors which can be controlled.
The findings of the study suggest that genetics does play a role in determining the weight of somebody. But people should not think that that’s the only thing which determines somebody’s weight. But actually, there are things which can be done.
How to stay in shape despite genetics
Exercise is at the top of the list in this case as getting regular and consistent exercise is very important. But, technology-centric society, with its modern conveniences, is offering challenges to individuals getting up and working out. It doesn’t have to be very strenuous activity but at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
Some studies also propose that even gardening for 30 minutes a day can improve your health. But the important thing is just getting outside and moving. In addition to exercise, there are many other things which people can do to control weight.
Researchers advise individuals to avoid phthalates over concern as it may increase the risk of weight gain. Moreover, increasing daily fluid intake to 3.2 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women can be helpful. Also, increasing fiber make you feel full. They provide prebiotics which is useful to the gut microbiomes that may also impact weight.
You can also find medical experts in case you need any help, and to try keeping a food journal. There are several drugs in clinical trials which are promising for overweight/obese patients that we could not imagine even just five years ago.
According to researchers, obesity is a disease and the people struggling with it should not be blamed. And it should be treated just like any other possibly progressive disease.
Although the study shows a genetic component to weight, a fit and healthy lifestyle is not out of anyone’s control. Individuals can control their environment to an extent and be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.
Several studies are available which indicate that exercise along with dietary modifications and a healthy lifestyle will help, and maintain the weight loss.