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Farooqi’s team scrutinized the DNA of 14,000 participants, including 1,622 individuals who were naturally slim without eating disorders or health issues, 1,985 extremely obese individuals, and 10,433 who maintained a normal weight. DNA samples were collected through saliva or blood tests.
Researchers identified genetic variations previously associated with obesity and compiled a genetic risk score based on over 100 different genetic variants. The findings revealed that thin or normal-weight individuals had significantly lower genetic risk scores compared to overweight or obese individuals, indicating that slender people possess fewer genetic factors predisposing them to weight gain.

Furthermore, specific genetic regions have been linked to healthy slimness. Slim individuals possess unique genes that offer protection against weight gain, indicating that leanness can also be an inherited trait. Farooqi’s next objective is to pinpoint these specific genes to understand their role in weight regulation, potentially leading to the development of novel weight management strategies. Obesity is associated with numerous health complications such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, which are major causes of mortality.

The research challenges the stereotype that overweight individuals lack willpower and are lazy. Dr. Steve Mowle, the honorary treasurer at the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK, advises caution, emphasizing that while genetics play a significant role in obesity risk reduction, unhealthy lifestyle choices remain a key determinant of risk.

Additionally, Dr. Mowle stresses that general practitioners always advocate for a healthy lifestyle for all patients, regardless of their weight or genetic predispositions. Patients should maintain a balanced diet, get sufficient sleep, engage in regular physical activity, consume alcohol in moderation, and refrain from smoking.

Image Source: ALL best fitness is HERE / Shutterstock

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