When it comes to weight gain and obesity, science has told us that there are a number of interlinked and often independent factors at play. The obesity pandemic around the world has got health experts concerned. Researchers have studied obesity for a while now and more studies are exploring the links between our body weight and the various factors that influence it. A new study has now said that even though genetic predisposition plays a role in triggering obesity, the quality of diet is a crucial factor. The study said that obesity has affected people of both kind – those who have been pre-disposed to it and those who haven’t – indicating that the environment is still essential for affecting the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person.
The study is titled, “Quantifying the impact of genes on body mass index during the obesity epidemic: longitudinal findings from the HUNT Study” and it was published in the British Medical Journal in July 2019. The study was spear-headed by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the results were based on the data from the Nord-Trondelag Health Study. The data from a total of 67,305 participants from this study was used to examine the link between genes and higher body mass index (BMI). All participants were between the ages of 13 and 80 years of age and their heights and weights were measured repeatedly between 1963 and 2008.
The researchers found that those predisposed to obesity had a greater increase in BMI. Another contributor to obesity was the participants’ ‘obesogenic ‘ environments, which means that the toxins present in the environment may also lead to an increase in the BMI. These toxins include monosodium glutamate or ajinomoto and others that are usually present in junk and packaged or refined foods. The study concludes by saying, “This study provides evidence that genetically predisposed people are at greater risk for higher BMI and that genetic predisposition interacts with the obesogenic environment resulting in higher BMI, as observed between the mid-1980s and mid-2000s. Regardless, BMI has increased for both genetically predisposed and non-predisposed people, implying that the environment remains the main contributor.”