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Is Obesity Linked To Bad Genes?

Is there a single most factor that determines getting obese? Is that factor gene or lifestyle? That is indeed a hot debate in the medical science corridor. There is indeed a disease called Monogenic Obesity that is caused solely because of a mutation in a single gene which is an extremely rare condition. We are definitely not talking about that here, as 20-30 % of the population cannot have that disease. That is just not possible.

In 2007, researchers stumbled upon a gene called FTO (Fat Mass and Obesity-associated Gene), popularly termed “the Obesity Gene”. Does the presence of this gene cause obesity? Not entirely. The presence of this gene is indeed a major risk factor if the lifestyle is not conducive enough for maintaining a healthy body. Now that brings back the question of what is this lifestyle that we are talking about.

A lifestyle with the following characters is termed not conducive or in other simple words not healthy at all for the body;

  • No physical activity at all. Everything is mechanized. Example is the voice command used for operating a TV.
  • Spending most of the time on TV, Computer and mobile phones and munching unhealthy snacks that are high on sugar and trans fat.
  • Consumption of aerated beverages that are high on Sugar (Fructose like Corn Syrup). From 1900 to 2000 sugar consumption in the world has increased to XXX%
  • Consumption of processed food that uses various preservatives and other compounds that are not healthy

Researchers were able to find that the above lifestyle provided a perfect recipe of disaster for people with or without FTO gene to become obese.

To understand the correlation between FTO and lifestyle, the below notion can throw a lot of light. We all know for the fact that the FTO gene did not appear suddenly in the human genome. It has been present since human race was born. But we know for sure that the percentage of people suffering from obesity was not to the tune of 20 and 30% of the population even before 30 years. That essentially means the environment for the FTO gene to become active was not present before 30 years. Even the rich had to walk to any place earlier. Now imagine correlation the high sugar consumption in the diet has taken place nowadays. In a nutshell, as life became “easier”, people became “fatter”. In summary, the main driver of obesity is the lifestyle factor and the presence of the gene only makes it easier for one to become obese.

Eat healthy and stay fit by working out to stay out of obesity even if you have FTO gene in you.

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