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Exercise Thwarts Genetic Predisposition Toward Obesity

Link between polymorphisms and obesity exclusively seen in people with low activity levels

TUESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Although many people have a genetic predisposition to develop obesity, their risk of obesity can be almost entirely eliminated by high levels of physical activity, according to a report published in the Sept. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Evadnie Rampersaud, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, studied 704 Old Order Amish subjects, and genotyped them for 92 fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

The researchers identified 26 such polymorphisms, including rs1477196 and rs1861868. But they found that the association between these polymorphisms and increased weight was not statistically significant in subjects who were physically active. The association was entirely restricted to subjects who had low sex- and age-adjusted physical activity scores, the report indicates.

"This finding offers some clues to the mechanism by which FTO influences changes in body mass index and may have important implications in targeting personalized lifestyle recommendations to prevent obesity in genetically susceptible individuals," the authors conclude.

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