Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

There's Diet and Exercise and There's Genetics

Global public health officials tout the need for exercise to stave off a range of conditions, but the Irish Times wonders whether everyone garners the same benefits.

It notes that a study by an Australian team has uncovered a role for genetics in people's physical makeup, even in the face of exercise. "The results of our study demonstrate that our genes influence how well our bodies respond to increased physical activity," lead author Joshua Zadro from the University of Sydney tells the paper.

In particular, the Irish Times writes that variants in the FTO gene have been linked to an increased susceptibility to obesity. Eileen Gibney from the UCD Institute of Food and Health says that that means that people with those variants — and she notes there are likely variants in other genes that also influence people's susceptibility to being overweight — might have to work harder at exercising and eating right.

As part of the European Food4Me study, Gibney and her colleagues found that there was no difference in obesity between people in high-exercise group with the FTO variant as compared to those without it. "This means that being active — as recommended in many healthy eating and lifestyle campaigns — removed the risk of obesity," she adds at the Irish Times.