Genetics is not fatality. At least, not in the case of obesity. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis conducted by an international research team and published in the British Medical Journal. Interventions to promote weight loss would be in effect effective in patients at the highest genetic risk of obesity.
Obesity, like many chronic diseases, is multi-factorial. It develops on the basis of genetic predisposition with the effects of environmental factors.
In 2007, British researchers have pinpointed a gene, FTO, associated with an increased risk of obesity. This genetic predisposition, often associated with people suffering from overweight, can induce a certain fatalism, and lead to a refusal to receive help and support.
Data from the research may well bring some hope to obese patients with this gene. This is certainly the message of the international team that conducted the research.
After having reviewed eight studies conducted on patients with the FTO gene, the researchers conclude that genetic predisposition does not reduce the effect of support, whether through diets, physical activity or drug treatments. The reduction in weight, body mass index or waist circumference was not significantly different between obese patients, whether or not they are carriers of the FTO gene. “The predisposition to obesity can be at least partly offset by these interventions,” noted the authors.
These results may also indicate that genetics is not the first responsible for the development of the disease. The results of this study “are in addition to other evidence to suggest that factors” such as a diet high in sugar or reduced physical activity “could be more crucial” than genetic factors, said Alison Tedstone, Director of the nutrition department at the French health Authority, cited by the Dispatch.