Here is a controversial subject that is debated by both sides, however it is difficult to see past the obvious need to control diet and increase physical activity especially in the United Kingdom. The National Obesity Forum believed in a report that by 2050 half the UK population will be classed as obese, however some believe this report was “optimistic” considering the actual figure to be 60-70% of the UK population being obese by 2050 if current trends are continued. When we use the term “obesity” we do not mean the lesser term “overweight”, being obese is classed as anyone with a BMI over 30 (taking into consideration muscle/fat ratios) and increases the risks of multiple diseases:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Bowel Cancer and other cancers
  4. Stroke
  5. Early onset osteoarthritis
  6. Psychological disorders
  7. Multiple Others.

Obesity has a massive social and economic impact on the country as well, it is estimated that the UK spent 47 billion pounds a year (3% GDP) dealing with the healthcare and social costs of the increasing UK waistline. To put that in perspective the UK government spent 43 billion pounds (2.5% GDP) on war, violence and terrorism in 2012, 4 billion pounds less then how much was spent on obesity.

Now we have your attention, let us talk about the genetic link and if there is one?

Research in the area has shown around 60  links to different genes, one of the biggest of which is called FTO, research carried out on 38,759 Europeans showed that certain variants in this gene had an effect on total body mass. Carriers of one copy of this variant weighed 1.2kg (2.6lbs) more than those with no copies and those with both variant copies weighed 3kg (6.6lbs) heavier, this association was found with those aged 7+. The study did not show a direct link to type 2 diabetes, however as mentioned before we know obesity may lead to this disease. The research on the FTO gene has been confirmed with multiple follow up studies, and is now considered one of the main genetic factors to a person gaining weight.

 A separate study found that adults carrying risk variants have been shown to have a higher kJ intake which can vary from 500 – 1250kJ per day more so than those without the variants, this was also backed by further research in the area, with some studies showing that although the person takes in more kJ they do not have any increased energy expenditure.


So as you can see there is certainly a case for those stating that obesity is genetic, HOWEVER and this is a big one! Obesity is a disease that can be prevented and is treatable in the most part with correct diet and exercise, having a DNA test will highlight your risks and should be done to make you aware of how careful you need to be around food and how important physical activity is in your weight control plan.

Order DNA-test and start your healthy lifestyle today!