Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic risk for obesity found in many Mexican young adults

Date:
May 21, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Summary:
As many as 35 percent of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity, said a University of Illinois scientist who conducted a study at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosw.

As many as 35 percent of Mexican young adults may have a genetic predisposition for obesity, said a University of Illinois scientist who conducted a study at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί.

"The students who inherited genetic risk factors from both parents were already 15½ pounds heavier and 2 inches bigger around the waist than those who hadn't. They also had slightly higher fasting glucose levels," said Margarita Teran-Garcia, a U of I professor of food science and human nutrition.

In the study, 251 18- to 25-year-olds were tested for risk alleles on the FTO gene as part of the Up Amigos project, a collaboration of scientists at the U of I and the Mexican university. The researchers are following the 10,000 yearly applicants to the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosί to learn how changes in students' weight, body mass index (BMI), and eating and exercise habits affect their health over time.

According to Teran-Garcia, the FTO gene is associated with a predisposition to obesity, increased BMI, and increased waist circumference. These traits can in turn contribute to many health-related problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Of the young adults tested in the study, 15 percent had inherited the genetic risk from both parents -- in other words, they carried two copies of the risk allele. Another 20 percent had inherited risk from one parent, meaning they had one copy of the risk allele. Sixty-five percent of the students in the study did not carry the risk allele.

"If young people realize early that they have this predisposition, they can fight against it. If they are at risk for obesity, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is even more important for them," Teran-Garcia said.

She noted that 85 percent of Hispanics in the United States are of Mexican origin.

Although FTO markers and analysis are available for large groups of Caucasians, Asians, and African-Americans, few studies have examined the effects of this gene in Mexican and Mexican- American populations.

"This is the first study to target young adults in Mexico, although one other study has followed older Mexican adults who had already been diagnosed with diabetes, obesity, and obesity-related diseases," she said.

Scientists hypothesize that "fat" genes may be influenced by epigenetic modifications, she said. "So even if you have this predisposition, you may be able to change the way those genes behave by eating the right foods and getting more exercise. These good habits are especially important for young people who have a genetic risk for obesity."

"FTO genotype is associated with body mass index and waist circumference in Mexican young adults" is available online in the Open Journal of Genetics (2013, 3, 44-48). Co-authors are Teran-Garcia, Itzel Vazquez-Vidal, and Michelle Mosley, of the U of I Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Flavia C.D. Andrade of the U of I Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, and Eduardo Medina-Cerda and Celia Aradillas-Garcia of the Universidad Autonóma de San Luis Potosί in Mexico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Margarita Teran-Garcia. FTO genotype is associated with body mass index and waist circumference in Mexican young adults. Open Journal of Genetics, 2013; 03 (01): 44 DOI: 10.4236/ojgen.2013.31005

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). "Genetic risk for obesity found in many Mexican young adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152612.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). (2013, May 21). Genetic risk for obesity found in many Mexican young adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152612.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). "Genetic risk for obesity found in many Mexican young adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521152612.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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