University of Brighton - Fat gene linked to calorie intake

January 8, 2009

Children with the obesity gene FTO are more likely to choose fattening foods than those who are not carriers, according to a study from several institutions. Peter Watt, head of research in sport and exercise science at the Chelsea School, University of Brighton, said: "These findings reinforce the view that increases in obesity may be attributable to the widespread availability of inexpensive and high energy-dense foods." The teams found that carriers of the gene mutation did not have a slower metabolic rate nor did they tend to be less active than non-carriers. There was also no evidence that individuals carrying the obesity gene had problems with satiety. According to the report, choice of food is the main factor in weight differences; on average FTO carriers eat 100 extra calories per meal through opting for more fattening food.

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