Lots of research has pointed to genetic links to weight. Now researchers have isolated a specific genetic link that helps some lucky people maintain slimness no matter what they eat.
In the largest study of its kind to date, Cambridge researchers have looked at why some people manage to stay thin while others gain weight easily. They have found that the genetic dice are loaded in favour of thin people and against those at the obese end of the spectrum.
“As anticipated, we found that obese people had a higher genetic risk score than normal weight people, which contributes to their risk of being overweight. The genetic dice are loaded against them,” explains Dr Barroso. Importantly, the team also showed that thin people, had a much lower genetic risk score – they had fewer genetic variants that we know increase a person’s chances of being overweight.
Of course, genetics is only one piece of the complex picture of weight. But this study shows that if you have trouble maintaining weight loss then there could be factors beyond willpower and healthy habits at play.