Tags: Obesity | obesity | dormant | gene

Obesity Epidemic Tied to Dormant Gene That Was Activated

By    |   Friday, 02 Jan 2015 04:41 PM

The nation’s obesity crisis may be linked to a dormant fat-related gene that became activated when Western culture became more sedentary over the last century, new research suggests.

The study — led by James Niels Rosenquist, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital — compared obesity rates among Americans burn during the 1920s and those delivered in the 1940s and 1950s.
 
“What we wanted to see was whether there was a difference for people born in the earlier part of the cohort, during the 1920s, [when compared] to people born in the later part of the cohort—in the 1940s and 1950s,” Dr. Niels told the Diabetes Insider Website. “People born in the early 1940s or before had no increased risk for higher body mass index or obesity.”
 
But that began to change in the 1950s, coinciding with cultural changes that have led Americans to lead much more sedentary lives in the latter part of the 20th century and beyond. Researchers said that gene seemed to start becoming more prevalent after World War II ended, which is right about the time that people started working more desk jobs and started to rely more on cars instead of walking, watch television for hours a day, and eat more fast food instead of whole foods.
 
 “This gene, which up until this point in time had no effect….may be some kind of McDonald’s gene or some kind of office chair gene,“ said Dr. Rosenquist.
 
“These results — to our knowledge, the first of their kind — suggests that this and perhaps other correlations between gene variants and physical traits may vary significantly depending on when individuals were born, even for those born into the same families.”

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Obesity may be linked to a dormant fat-related gene that became activated when Western culture became more sedentary over the last century, new research suggests.
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2015-41-02
Friday, 02 Jan 2015 04:41 PM
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