Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Walking may lessen the influence of genes on obesity by half

Date:
March 14, 2012
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Watching too much TV can worsen your genetic tendency towards obesity, but you can cut the effect in half by walking briskly for an hour a day, researchers report.

Watching too much TV can worsen your genetic tendency towards obesity, but you can cut the effect in half by walking briskly for an hour a day, researchers report at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Related Articles


"While previous studies have looked at how physical activity affects genetic predispositions, this is the first study that directly looked at the effect of the sedentary behavior of television watching on the body mass index (BMI) of individuals with a genetic predisposition to obesity," said Qibin Qi, Ph.D., study author and a post doctorate research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass.

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The study included 7,740 women and 4,564 men from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Researchers collected data on physical activity and TV watching two years prior to assessing BMI.

BMI is the ratio of weight in kilograms to square of height in meters; a score of 30 or more is obese.

The researchers calculated a genetic predisposition score based on 32 established BMI-predisposing genetic variants. The effect of genes on obesity was measured by differences in BMI per point of the genetic predisposition score, corresponding to each BMI-increasing gene.

Each BMI-increasing gene was associated with 0.13 kilograms/meter squared (kg/m2) in BMI. That effect was reduced in people in the highest level of physical activity compared to those in the lowest, 0.08 versus 0.15 kg/m2. The genetic effect on BMI was more pronounced in people who spent 40 hours a week watching television than those who spent an hour or less, 0.34 versus 0.08 kg/m2.

The equivalent of brisk walking one hour a day was associated with a 0.06 kg/m2 reduction in the genetic effect on BMI and each two-hour-a-day increment in television watching was associated with 0.03 kg/m2 increase in genetic effect on BMI.

Gene testing for obesity is not available to the general public yet, and Qi advised physicians to ask patients about a family history of obesity.

The average American watches television about four to six hours a day, he said.

How the function of these genes affect BMI isn't clear, Qi said. "These genes were just identified in the past five years and the exact functions of the genetic variants are still unknown. Future studies will be needed to uncover the underlying mechanisms."

Co-authors are Yanping Li, Ph.D.; Andrea K. Chomistek, Sc.D.; Jae Hee Kang, Sc.D.; Gary Curhan, M.D., Sc.D.; Louis R. Pasquale, M.D.; Walter Willett, M.D.; Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D.; Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.; and Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Walking may lessen the influence of genes on obesity by half." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314142833.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2012, March 14). Walking may lessen the influence of genes on obesity by half. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314142833.htm
American Heart Association. "Walking may lessen the influence of genes on obesity by half." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314142833.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

Analysis: Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Associated Press legal reporter Mark Sherman breaks down the details of the latest Affordable Care Act challenge to make it to the Supreme Court. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins