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Decoding how our genes affect obesity, 5 strategies to fight it
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A person's probability of developing obesity can be profoundly affected by their genetic makeup. Certain individuals possess inherited genetic traits that render them more prone to accumulating excess weight.
Dr Krishnamohan. Y, clinical director, bariatric and GI surgery, CARE Hospitals, explained that various genes are associated with obesity, which can affect two aspects.
Metabolism: Genetic variations in some individuals can lead to a reduced metabolic rate, which consequently makes them more prone to weight gain.
For instance, excessive fat tissue can lead to changes in gene expression, potentially worsening the problem.
Appetite regulation: Genes can impact how our bodies regulate hunger and fullness, influencing our food intake.
It’s important to note that while genetics can set the stage for obesity, they interact with environmental factors. Dr Nidhi Singhvi, gynaecologist, Regency Hospital, said though genetics influence obesity risk, it’s not the sole factor.
“An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can lead to epigenetic changes that affect gene expression. This creates a feedback loop that can exacerbate obesity.”
You can check your genetic predisposition to obesity through DNA tests, provided by companies like 23and Me. Ekta Singhwal, dietician, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, explained that these tests can identify specific gene variants associated with weight regulation.
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5 strategies to fight obesity
Balanced diet: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and high-fat items.
Regular exercise: Engage in regular physical activity. Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training to maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass.
Adequate sleep: Ensure you get enough quality sleep as sleep deprivation can disrupt appetite regulation and metabolism.
Stress management: Chronic stress can lead to overeating. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your routine.
Regular health check-ups: Consult with healthcare professionals for regular check-ups and guidance on weight management.
Remember that obesity prevention is a lifelong journey, and it’s essential to approach it holistically, considering both genetic and environmental factors.