Scientists identify 14 genes linked to obesity and 3 that prevent weight gain
- Obesity is developed due to poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle
- Genes have a big role to play aprt from these two factors
- The research has been published in the journal PLOS Genetics
Obesity is a problem faced by millions around the world. It affects people of all age groups and is the gateway to a number of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular impairment that can pose long-term risks to life.
Obesity is caused primarily by poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, but in some cases our genes also have a role to play. A recent study conducted by a team of US scientists has established that the human body has 14 genes that can lead to weight gain and three others that can prevent weight gain.
New research has been published in scientific journal PLOS Genetics that establishes a connection between obesity, diet and the DNA. Obesity has become commonplace since the beginning of the pandemic with people being forced into sedentary lifestyles. High calorie diets, rich in sugar and fructose, are the main causes behind growing cases of obesity.
However, it has been found that our genes have a big role to play alongside a sedentary lifestyle. Genes impact the way a person’s body regulates fat storage and how well our bodies manage to burn food as fuel.
If scientists successfully identify genes that convert excessive food into fat, then a possible solution could be inactivating these genes with drugs, thereby uncoupling excessive eating from obesity.
Dr. Eyleen O’Rourke, the senior author of the study, a researcher in the Department of Biology and the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, said, "We know of hundreds of gene variants that are more likely to show up in individuals suffering from obesity and other diseases. But more likely to show up does not mean causing the disease. This uncertainty is a major barrier to exploit the power of population genomics to identify targets to treat or cure obesity,"
In all, 293 genes associated with obesity were observed and The research successfully identified those which cause or prevent obesity.
In effect, 14 genes that cause obesity and three that prevent it were found by the team. The actions of the three genes allowed people to lead longer lives and have better neuro-locomotory function.