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GENETICS & OBESITY VIDEO: Exercise Can Offset Genetic Predisposition
GENETICS & OBESITY VIDEO: Exercise Can Offset Genetic Predisposition

(April 6, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Adolescents who are carriers of genes that predispose them to being overweight can offset these effects by staying physically active, according to research published in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Recommended activity levels for children and adolescents include:

•    Participating in at least an hour of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity daily, such as bike riding or jumping rope

•    Participating in muscle-building activities at least three days a week, such as rope-climbing and tug-of-war

•    Participating in bone-building activities at least three days a week, such as running or skipping

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted genetic testing in over 750 adolescents who were already participating in a study that was tracking their body composition and level of physical activity. The genetic tests identified which of the participants were carriers of genes that placed them at increased risk for becoming obese.

As expected, those carrying genes associated with obesity were more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), greater percentage of body fat, and larger waist circumference. Physical activity, however, markedly reduced the effects of these genes. Those who were carriers of obesity genes who also met recommended levels of physical activity were far less likely to have a high BMI, percentage of body fat, or waist circumference.

Today’s research demonstrates that genes are not destiny. Physical activity can help keep the pounds off even those who are genetically predisposed to be heavy.

 
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