A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that walking for an hour each day can decrease the influence of obesity-related genes by up to 50 percent. Looking at data from more than 12,000 people, the researchers calculated each person’s genetic risk of obesity by identifying how many of the 32 known variants of the so-called obesity gene, or FTO gene, each had. They found that that for each additional obesity-related gene variant a participant had, there was a 0.13-unit increase in Body Mass Index (BMI).
A person with 7-8 variants would be expected to have a BMI about one unit larger than it would be without the variants. The researchers then assessed data on television habits as well as physical activity. While walking decreased the influence of the gene, on the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent. The main problem with TV watching is that it tends to involve so much sitting. If people keep moving while they watch, people don’t necessarily need to miss their favorite shows. The study authors suggest that instead just sitting there, people should exercise while they watch. He said: There’s nothing wrong with TV per se, but TV watching may be indicative of a sedentary lifestyle.”
This is good advice for us at Surgical Specialists too. Maintaining an active lifestyle is an important factor to achieving sustainable weight loss after bariatric surgery, as well. You can read about the important steps to take to prepare for weight loss surgery, or register to attend a free educational seminar at one of our locations in Louisiana or Mississippi.
This research has not yet been published and was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.