Fat Loss
Muscular Development|October 2020
How ‘Fat Genes’ Affect Obesity
By Steve Blechman and Thomas Fahey

Americans are among the hardest working people in the world. They are also among the fattest. Doesn’t it seem strange that such a high-energy population doesn’t have the self-discipline to control their waistlines? Only about 5 percent of people who lose weight will keep it off for one year or more. That’s not very good! Scientists have found that our genes may predispose us to obesity. A Harvard study showed that one gene regulates fat cell production. If this gene doesn’t work properly, it produces an abnormal number of fat cells, which will tend to make people obese. Scientists from the Washington School of Medicine found another gene that regulates the activity of a chemical called uncoupling protein 1 (UPC1). UPC1 helps you maintain weight by burning off calories. This chemical takes energy you might normally store as fat and gets rid of it as heat. If the gene regulating UPC1 fails to work right, you store more energy as fat and turn less of it to heat. Don’t use these studies as an excuse. Even people with “fat genes” can be thinner if they exercise and watch their diets. (Science, 290: 134-138)

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