Losing Weight Has Nothing To Do With Your Genes, Apparently


You may be able to blame your parents for giving you big feet or frizzy hair, but, as it turns out, you can’t blame them for the inability to lose weight.

New research has found that having a gene associated with obesity – often referred to as the ‘fat gene’ – does not affect a person’s ability to lose weight.

And a study published in the British Medical Journal proves it – they found that people with the FTO gene have the same response to diet, exercise, and drug-based interventions as everyone else.

Special School Helps Kids Combat Childhood ObesityGetty

In recent years, there has been debate around whether genetic makeup makes a difference to weight and weight loss.

And with an estimated 2.1 billion adults now overweight or obese, some experts argue that genes play a significant role in the development of obesity.

Others say that changes in our environment are responsible for increasing obesity.

But the extent to which genes determine the ability to lose weight remains unclear.

As reported by the Huffington Post, an international team of researchers set out to test the relation between the FTO gene and weight loss to find the answer using data from almost 10,000 participants in eight randomised control trials.

At the start of the trials, participants with the FTO gene were found to be slightly heavier – 0.89 kg to be exact – than those not carrying the gene.

However, the researchers found no relation between FTO and the ability to lose weight.


Changes in body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference by FTO genotype did not differ by intervention type, intervention length, ethnicity, sex, or age category.

And while the authors acknowledged limitations in their analysis, essentially, they’ve found that your genes do not affect your ability to lose weight.

They concluded that future strategies for managing obesity ‘should focus on improving lifestyle behaviours, principally eating patterns and physical activity, since these will be effective in achieving sustained weight loss irrespective of FTO genotype’.

So if you’ve ever felt like you can’t lose weight because of your genes, switch up your diet and lifestyle and try again. You can.