Bad genes are NOT an excuse for being overweight!

الجينات السيئة ليست عذراً للوزن الزائد!

  • Scientists in Taiwan measured the effects of 18 different types of exercise
  • They found jogging, walking and dancing were effective for weight loss
  • People with genes making them more likely to be overweight also benefitted
  • But cycling and swimming were less effective because they ‘use less energy’

Couch potatoes may no longer be able to hide behind the excuse of their genes making them overweight.

Scientists have confirmed even people who are naturally overweight because of their DNA can slim down by exercising.

A study on nearly 20,000 people found regular jogging was the best way to ‘blunt’ the effects of genes which raise the risk of obesity.

Lacing up and going for a jog was effective for reducing people’s height-to-weight ratio (BMI), body fat percentage and the size of their hips.

cientists at the National Taiwan University studied the impact of exercise on 18,424 Chinese people between the ages of 30 and 70.

The team measured people’s bodies, noted how much exercise they did and looked at their DNA to see if they were naturally more likely to be obese.

More than 400 genes have been linked to being overweight, by affecting people’s appetites, their metabolisms or the way their bodies store fat.

‘Regular jogging mitigated the genetic effects on body mass index, body fat percentage, and hip circumference,’ said Dr Wan-Yu Lin, study author.

‘Mountain climbing, walking, exercise walking and international standard dancing also attenuated the genetics effects on BMI.’

People in China are significantly less fat than those in the UK and US – the country has an obesity rate of just seven per cent among over-15s, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In the UK this rate is 26.9 per cent and the US 38.2 per cent.

Past research has suggested this is because people in China spend less time sitting down, are more active, and eat more carbohydrate and less fat.

As well as the BMI, body fat and hip size, the Taiwanese scientists also measured people’s hip-to-waist ratio and their genetic risk scores (GRS), which dictate the role their DNA plays in obesity.

And they considered the effects of 18 different types of exercise on helping people to slim down.

Dr Lin added: ‘Among the 18 kinds of self-reported regular exercise, six mitigated the genetic effects on at least one obesity measure.

‘Across all five obesity measures, regular jogging consistently presented the most significant interactions with genetic risk scores.’

The team claimed, however, that cycling, swimming, the video game Dance Dance Revolution and Qigong – a tai chi-like martial art – do not have the same effect.

‘Cycling, stretching exercise and qigong usually require less energy expenditure than the six exercise that demonstrate interactions with GRS,’ said Dr Lin.

‘Exercises in cold water such as swimming can especially stimulate appetite and food intake.

‘Dance Dance Revolution, a computer game based on dancing with music videos, is not as formal as international standard dancing.

‘These reasons may possibly explain why these five popular exercise cannot mitigate genetic susceptibility to obesity measures.’

The research was published in the journal PLOS Genetics.


وجدت دراسة أجريت على نحو 20 ألف فرد، أن الركض المنتظم هو أفضل نوع من التمرينات “لتخفيف” آثار الجينات التي تزيد من خطر إصابة شخص ما بالسمنة.

ودرس العلماء في جامعة تايوان الوطنية، تأثير التمرين الرياضي على 18 ألفا و424 فردا من الصينيين، الذين تتراوح أعمارهم بين 30 و70 عاما.

وقاس فريق البحث أجسام المشاركين، وراقب مقدار التمرينات التي قاموا بها مع تحليل الحمض النووي، لمعرفة ما إذا كانوا أكثر عرضة للسمنة بشكل طبيعي. ورُبط أكثر من 400 جين بمخاطر أعلى لزيادة الوزن، حسب جامعة هارفارد، من خلال التأثير على شهية الناس أو معدل الأيض، أو طريقة تخزين أجسامهم للدهون.

وقال الدكتور وان-يو لين: “الركض المنتظم يخفف من الآثار الوراثية على مؤشر كتلة الجسم ونسبة الدهون ومحيط الورك. وتبين أن تسلق الجبال والمشي وممارسة التمرينات الرياضية والرقص المعياري الدولي، أضعف أيضا من آثار الوراثة على مؤشر كتلة الجسم”.

وبالإضافة إلى مؤشر كتلة الجسم والدهون وحجم الورك، قام العلماء بقياس نسبة الورك إلى الخصر لدى الأشخاص، وكذلك عشرات المخاطر الوراثية لديهم، والتي تحدد الدور الذي يلعبه الحمض النووي في السمنة. ودرسوا آثار 18 نوعا مختلفا من التمارين التي تساعد الناس في تخفيف وزنهم.

وتبين أن الركض المنتظم يقدم باستمرار أهم التفاعلات فيما يتعلق بدرجات المخاطر الجينية. كما أن السباحة في الماء البارد يمكن أن تحفز الشهية وتناول الطعام بشكل خاص.

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