A recent study by the University of Copenhagen – The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, has shown that children who have gene variants that are common in obesity, can still lose weight by changing their diet and exercise habits.
Theresia Maria Schnurr, one of the authors of the study has explained the driving force behind the research; “We are trying to understand the genetic driving force behind overweight and whether this force also makes it impossible for some to lose weight,”. This research is something that the fitness industry and the world as a whole have needed for some time, with there currently not being enough research and expertise around the driving forces behind people being overweight or obese.
The research opens up huge opportunities for the fitness industry, as it gives those in positions to fuel change a clear direction to focus on, as it will give them a more specialist view into overweight and obesity.
Although it was previously thought that overweight and obesity gene variants made it difficult for children to lose weight, these genetic variants, in fact, did not predict whether children and adolescents were able to lose weight when they changed their lifestyle. This is brilliant news for the fitness industry, as those with the qualifications needed to train children now know that they are able to help combat the growing problem of overweight and obese children.
The study analysed 754 children with an average age of 11.6, which gave researchers enough variety to produce a conclusive examination. The research consisted of analysing children with one or more of the 15 genes that are common with obesity, to see whether each gene had an effect on their ability to lose weight when they made certain lifestyle changes.
To get an accurate representation, the children they analysed had to change things such as; their diet, means of transportation, physical activity, sedentary activity, amount of sleep, consumption of snacks and social activities over a 6-24 month period. Researchers followed up on the lifestyle changes and found that the lifestyle changes that the children had implemented had affected their weight, despite there being a presence of at least 1 of the 15 obesity-prone genes in each participant.
The researchers have said that the study completely demolishes the perception that genes determine a person’s health, as it clearly shows that making simple changes to dieting, training and general wellbeing can contribute massively to a person’s overall health. This opens up huge opportunities for children and fitness professionals, as there are now certain lifestyle changes that they can focus on to help reduce the chances of obesity in the future.
Overall, the research that has been done provides a monumental step in the progression of handling health and obesity among children, as it gives professionals the guidance they need to make further progression and help combat obesity among children.