In a study of 131 children, British researchers think they might have isolated a gene that affects obesity. Okay, so it’s not called the “cookie” gene. But the FTO gene may play a role in whether someone is satiated, or knows she is full. Lead author Jane Wardle says the results show:
Some children don’t know when to stop, which could lead to the onset of obesity and a lifetime of health problems.
University College London researchers had the mums feed their children and then distract them with a video. Then they offered up a plate of cookies. Kids with the FTO gene, previously linked to obesity, ate much more than those without the gene.
Previous research has shown that the FTO gene is linked to larger body size. We believe this research published today tells us more about how some children are more responsive to signals in their bodies encouraging them to eat when full than others.
We all know that obesity has become quite the problem. Not only is it hitting epidemic proportions in the U.S., but we’re also creating a generation of children that may face health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer at a higher rate than their parents.
But can we blame it on a gene? Can we bioengineer the problem away? Got a nasty FTO gene? Just can’t say no? Don’t blame yourself…blame your parents, and get that gene removed! …Yikes.
Luckily, say researchers, the FTO seems to have no effect on physical activity. No excuse, then, for not exercising after those extra cookies.
Parents can remind kids that a “cookie is a sometimes food“.
‘Children with higher risk versions of the gene might be helped if parents do their bit to keep temptations out of the home,’ says Wardle.
Hmm…adults with or without that “high risk” might be advised to keep the temptations out of the house. Sorry Ben. Sorry Jerry. It’s been nice.
The study was published Monday in the International Journal of Obesity.