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

(April 6, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Regular physical activity can help offset the effects of carrying genetic mutations associated with obesity among adolescents, according to research published in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Physical activity recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for children and adolescents include:

•    Participation in moderate or vigorous aerobic physical activity for at least 60 min per day or longer

•    Participation in muscle-building physical activities at least three times a week

•    Participation in bone-building activities at least three times per week

For the European HELENA study, researchers out of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden genotyped the FTO polymorphism of 752 adolescents participating in the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-Sectional Study. The researchers then looked for links between the presence of FTO polymorphism, the adolescents’ level of physical activity, and their body composition.

The A allele of the FTO polymorphism was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), a higher body fat percentage, and a higher waist circumference. The impact of carrying the A allele was greatly attenuated among carriers who met daily physical activity recommendations, however. The presence of a risk allele was associated with an increase in BMI of 0.17 among the physically active carriers, as compared with 0.65 among those who were less active. Similarly, each risk allele was associated with 0.4% increase in body fat percentage and a 0.6 cm increase in waist circumference among physically active carriers, as compared with 1.7% and 1.15 cm, respectively, among the less physically active.

Today’s research demonstrates that physical activity can help keep weight down even among those who are genetically predisposed to be overweight.

 
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