Weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution. But according to a new report, there are potentially thousands of reasons why weight loss success still remains elusive for many: genes.
Michael Tordoff, PhD, of Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, announced in a news release that genetic studies show approximately 6,000 genes affect weight in mice.
"Reports describing the discovery of a new ‘obesity gene’ have become common in the scientific literature and also the popular press," Tordoff says in a news release. "Our results suggest that each newly discovered gene is just one of the many thousands that influence body weight, so a quick fix to the obesity problem is unlikely."
Weighing the Gene Odds
Out of the 1,900 known mouse genes were studied by Tordoff’s team, 31% were found to increase weight and only 3% could lower weight.
This 10 to 1 ratio of weight-gain to weight-loss genes "might help explain why it is easier to gain weight than lose it," Tordoff says.
Despite their number, weight-associated genes (as a whole) are only one factor in weight loss for mice and humans. Becoming more active and adopting a healthy eating lifestyle are ways to work with the body’s natural design in becoming more fit and lean.
A New Kind of Resolution for the New Year
Weight loss diets have been shown to work against our genetic makeup. They make work initially, but eventually increase our hunger and slow metabolic rate so that the weight-gain genes kick in with a vengeance after the diet.
"I’d rather be a few pounds heavier and enjoy life." ~Drew Barrymore
By adjusting weight loss goals by aiming for a healthy lifestyle and peace with our bodies, people stand a much better chance at achieving weight loss success in the long run.