London, Sept 1 (ANI): Blaming your genes for those extra pounds? Well, you might not be able to use that as an excuse anymore, for scientists have revealed that even people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity can offset their risk of being overweight by being physically active.
The study has challenged the popular belief that obesity is unavoidable if it runs in the family.
Experts searched the DNA of more than 20,000 men and women from Norfolk for genes known to raise the risk of obesity.
They used the information to analyse each person's genetic susceptibility to obesity and looked to see whether those with the highest 'scores' were the most likely to be overweight.
"Our research proves that even those who have the highest risk of obesity from their genes can improve their health by taking some form of daily physical activity," the Daily Mail quoted Ruth Loos, the study's lead author, as saying.
"It goes to show we're not complete slaves to our genetic makeup and really can make a big difference to our future health by changing our behaviour," he added.
The research team, from the Medical Research Council's Epidemiology Unit said: "Our finding that living a physically active lifestyle is associated with a 40 per cent reduction in the genetic predisposition to common obesity is an important observation for public health."
"Promoting physical activity, particularly in those who are genetically predisposed, may be an important approach to controlling the current obesity epidemic," they added.
The findings were published in the journal PLoS Medicine. (ANI)