Monday, April 19, 2010

Worldwide Epidemic?

We all know I am harping on America day in and day out to start making healthier lifestyle choices. Upon reading an abstract regarding a gene called the fat mass and obesity gene or FTO (they couldn't come up with a more clever name eh?), the study estimated over 1 billion people worldwide are overweight and 300 million people are obese. America makes up a good chunk of that 300 million with the American Obesity Association estimating that 60 million Americans are obese, with another 9 million registering as severely obese.

This study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that 46% of Western Europeans carry the gene. Despite the gene predisposing carriers to a higher BMI and a slightly larger waist circumference (1 cm), researchers suggest the best way to battle the gene is by well, wouldn't you guess it...participating in regular exercise and eating a low-fat diet. Again, more validation that environment and lifestyle choices can very well help you beat the genetic game!

The study also goes into more detail by looking at the correlation between the FTO gene and Alzheimer's disease. To view a quick article, click HERE, if you'd like to read the whole study, click this link to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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