Many obese patients like to blame their weight problems on their genes. A recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine evaluated a specific variant of the FTO gene that controls fat mass and exercise has shown that daily moderate to vigorous excercise can counteract the effects of the gene. Previous studies showed that there was not much influence of exercise on body fat but those studies relied on self-reported levels of activity. This study used an accelerometer attached to the body to measure activity. This was a more accurate measurement of activity level than the self-reported levels. The results of the study showed adolescents who had moderate to vigorous activity of 60 minutes or more had lower BMI, Body fat percentage and waist circumference.
The bottom line is what we’ve all been promoting, exercise is beneficial even if your genes predispose you to obesity. So find an activity that you’ll enjoy, bicycling, running, basketball, etc. For the videogame junkies, Wii Fit , The Biggest Loser or similar games are a fun alternative to get into shape. And of course, a healthy low fat diet will always help.