Much has been written about the so-called obesity gene, FTO, which is said to make carriers more susceptible to weight gain than those without. So by that fact alone, one would expect that it would be harder for carriers to lose weight too, right? Not so, according to a new study published by The BMJ medical journal. The research suggests that carrying the FTO gene doesn't actually affect your ability to lose weight.
The study examined 9,500 overweight people and placed the on a series of weight loss programs - based on diet, exercise or weight loss drugs. While the length of the weight loss programs varied and all participants were tested to see if they had the FTO gene, the findings suggested that having the gene was no barrier to weight loss. "To our surprise, we discovered that carrying the [high-risk] FTO gene made no difference to your ability to lose weight," John Mathers, lead author of the research from Newcastle University told The Guardian. "So people lost weight at just the same rate if they had the [high-risk version of the] FTO gene as if they didn't." Furthermore, sex and ethnicity doesn't impact your potential for weight loss either - so you can stop blaming your mother's Italian/Chinese/Greek/[insert ethnic background] genes on your expanding waistline, too.
We guess this just means one thing, obesity gene or not, we all have to work damn hard to keep our weight down.