The University of Cambridge has found the answer to a medical puzzle: why do some people get thin?


It's the million dollar question. How does she get lean? The "How do they do?"In Top Argentinians, by Guillermo Lobo, seeks to answer this question periodically. Scientists University of CambridgeIn the UK, she shared the same issue and looked at why some people manage to stay slim, while others gain weight easily.

More of six out of ten adults in the UK they are overweight and one in four adults is obese. At age five, nearly one in four children suffers Overweight or is obese. Being overweight increases the risk of related health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

It is known and proven by science that changes in the environment, easy access to fast food and lifestyle sedentary they are drivers of increased obesity. However, there is considerable individual variation in weight within a population that shares the same environment. Some people seem to be able to eat what they like and stay thin.

With the support of Wellcome and the European Research Council, a team led by Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Sciences, University of Cambridge, launched the & # 39; Study on Lean Individuals & # 39; to examine why and how some people find it easier to stay lean than others.

The key to gene dictation

Twin studies have shown that variation in body weight is greatly influenced by our genes. So far, studies have focused on overweight people. They found hundreds of genes that increase a person's chances of being overweight and in some people, genes defective They can cause severe obesity from an early age.

Professor Sadaf Farooqi's team was able to recruit 2 thousand people who were thin (defined as a body mass index below 18 kg / m2), but healthy, without medical conditions or eating disorders. The team found several genetic variants that play a role in obesity. In addition, they found new genetic regions involved "in severe obesity and some in healthy leanness." The scientists analyzed the impact that the genes had on the weight of each individual. "As anticipated, we found that obese people had a higher genetic risk score than normal-weight people, which contributes to the risk of being overweight," says Dr. Farooqi.

It is important to note that the team also showed that lean people they had a much lower "genetic risk" score. They had fewer genetic variants that, as it is now known, increase a person's chances of being overweight.

Conclusion: It is not just a matter of will or temperament

Farooqi emphasized the results: "This investigation shows for the first time that healthy, lean people are usually thin because they have a lower gene load that increases a person's chances of being overweight and not because they are morally superior, with a better will in the face of temptation, as some people suggest"" It is easy to run to judge and criticize people for their weight, but science shows that things are much more complex. We have much less control over our weight than we might think, "said the specialist.

The next goal: possible future manipulation of genes

The authors of the study are looking forward to the scope of the study: "We already know that people can be thin for different reasons. Some people just are not so interested in food, while others can eat what they like but never gain weight. So if we can find the genes that keep them from gaining weight, we can approach those genes to find new weight loss strategies and help people who do not have that advantage. "


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