Thursday, April 12, 2007

Obesity gene discovered

Obesity is not just gluttony - it may be in your genes Guardian Unlimited 4/13/07 "· Half of population carry a copy of 'problem' version· Scientists insist diet and exercise still important ...Scientists have discovered the first clear genetic link to obesity that is carried by significant numbers of people...One copy of the gene leads to a 1.2kg (2.6lb) weight increase while those with two copies are on average 3kg heavier...The finding is significant because the changed version of the gene is relatively common, at least in the European populations studied so far. The researchers report in the journal Science that around half of people have one copy of the offending version while 16% have two copies. Those with two copies are 67% more likely to be obese - defined as a body mass index of 30 or more...The research team predicts that other genetic causes will emerge. "This is still only one player out of many," said Mark McCarthy ..."[Three kilogrammes is] a lot in some respects, but that doesn't explain why some people are 50kg heavier than others."...According to figures from the National Audit Office, being obese can take up to nine years off a person's lifespan. It makes them more likely to develop a range of health-related problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, gallstones, infertility and depression."

What's the gene called? FTO. What does FTO stand for? Any guesses? Fatso. I kid you not. Now you know why so many wire stories do not tell you what it stands for. Those news organizations are WMP's - Wimps. Forget the hurt feelings, the gene has a name. It is unfortunate, but there it is. It probably seemed cute to call it that for mice. Not so cute for people. But that's no excuse to skimp on the reporting.

Also, remember that meta-study a year or so back that said that obesity had no effect on longevity? Seemed like bunk then and more and more evidence comes out to make those researchers look a tad bit sloppy.

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