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Old 09-16-2009, 06:18 AM   #1
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 681
Default Fat Genes and Food Habits.

Food Habits Are More Important Than Most Important Obesity Risk Gene

ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2009) — The risk of becoming obese is 2.5 times higher for those who have double copies of the best known risk gene for overweight and obesity. However, this is only true if the fat consumption is high. A low fat diet neutralizes the harmful effects of the gene.

“This means that the critical factor is what you eat. At least in the case of the FTO gene, the most important obesity gene identified so far,” says Emily Sonestedt, member of Marju Orho-Melanders research group at Lund University Diabetes Centre.

She is the main author of a study that is currently being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Several studies have found that exercise diminishes the effect of the risk gene but this is the first study where the effect of the gene has been studied in relation to food habits. The risk variant of the FTO gene (fat mass and obesity associated) is common in the general population. 17 percent have double copies, meaning they have inherited it from both parents. Another 40 percent have a single copy.

“It is difficult to calculate how much people eat with any certainty, which is one of the reasons why no one has done this before. But we have good data” says Emily Sonestedt.

The information comes from the large Malmö Diet and Cancer study where food habits were carefully documented using, among other things, an extensive questionnaire, a long interview and a food diaries kept by the participants themselves. When the eating habits of the carriers of the double risk variant for obesity was analyzed the pattern was clear. The risk of obesity was dramatically increased only in the case of high fat consumption.

“Yes, for those who had a diet where less than 41 percent of the energy consumed came from fat, obesity was not more common, in spite of the inherited risk” says Emily Sonestedt.

So it appears that eating a low fat diet reduces your risk of getting fat even if you carry the fat gene which fits nicely with the conclusions of this study -

Carbohydrate intake and overweight and obesity among healthy adults.

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the dietary habits of people with optimal body weight in communities with high overweight and obesity prevalence.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate carbohydrate intake in relation to overweight and obesity in healthy, free-living adults. DESIGN: We used a cross-sectional analysis.

SUBJECTS/SETTING: The Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2 is a cross-sectional survey of Canadians conducted in 2004-2005. There were 4,451 participants aged 18 years and older with anthropometric and dietary data and no comorbid conditions in this analysis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome variables were body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)) and overweight or obesity status (dichotomous) defined as BMI > or =25 compared with BMI <25 based on measured height and weight. Diet was evaluated by 24-hour dietary recall based on the Automated Multi-Pass Method.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Weighted regression models with bootstrapping and cubic splines were used. Outcome variables were BMI and overweight or obesity, and predictors were daily nutrient intake. Adjustment for total energy intake, age, leisure time energy expenditure, sex, smoking, education, and income adequacy was performed.

RESULTS: Risk of overweight and obesity was decreased in all quartiles of carbohydrate intake compared to the lowest intake category (multivariate odds ratio quartile 2=0.63; 95% confidence interval: 0.49 to 0.90; odds ratio quartile 3=0.58; 95% confidence interval: 0.41 to 0.82; odds ratio quartile 4=0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.42 to 0.85). Spline analyses revealed lowest risk among those consuming 290 to 310 g/day carbohydrates.

CONCLUSIONS: Consuming a low-carbohydrate (approximately <47% energy) diet is associated with greater likelihood of being overweight or obese among healthy, free-living adults. Lowest risk may be obtained by consuming 47% to 64% energy from carbohydrates.

See also - Dietary Fat Intake and Regulation of Energy Balance: Implications for Obesity.
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