Health

Weight and human genetics: does weight depend on genetics and is it possible to predict it?

The problem of excess weight in the XX century has just begun, and in the XXI century it has truly blossomed to international proportions. In addition to conventional ways of losing weight, people (and scientists) are looking for others, studying all the facts about human weight

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

A new study by a group of scientists from the UK reports that the degree of influence of the human environment or genetics on whether a person is obese varies throughout life. The work shows that genetics has little to do with the level of obesity in childhood, but increases as people get older (from adolescence to 69 years).

A similar pattern was found in relation to body weight and social status of a person. Scientists report that people from disadvantaged families had a higher weight since adolescence. However, there was almost no difference in infancy and childhood.

The British authors used data from the MRC National Health and Development Study, which tracked a sample of 5,362 people since their birth in 1946. The data served to study how genes and social disadvantage are associated with body weight at the age of two to 69 years.

“People with more genes associated with obesity had a higher body weight. Those who were in the top 25% of the genetic risk of obesity were 11.2 kg (24 pounds) heavier at the age of 63 than those who were in the bottom 25% of the genetic risk,” the British scientists write.

Prediction

However, the results show that neither genetics nor social background are accurate predictors of whether a person will be obese. While the difference in weight increased significantly with the age of the study participants, genetic risk predicted only 10%, and social origin — 4% of these differences.


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