Science and Tech


Could Genetics Be To Blame For Weight Gain From Fried Foods?

Harvard researchers say the more pro-obesity genes a person has, the worse off his or her waistline will be from eating fried foods.
Posted at 2:01 PM, Mar 19, 2014

Next time you’re looking at a menu and deciding whether to go for that side of fries, you may want to first consider your genetic predisposition to obesity.

A new study out of Harvard University found eating fried foods more than four times a week is twice as bad for those who are genetically more susceptible to obesity compared to those aren’t. (Via Channel 4)   

The researchers studied more than 37,000 men and women who were participants in three major U.S. health trials. The researchers controlled for lifestyle factors like physical activity and soda intake. (Via Wikimedia Commons / ebru

Among the participants who had a low risk for obesity, their body mass indexes, or BMIs, didn't differ much between those who ate a lot of fried foods and those who didn't. (Via BBC)

But of the high risk participants, the ones who ate fried foods tended to have higher BMIs. So, in other words, researchers say the more pro-obesity genes you have, the worse off your waistline will be from eating fried foods.

Of course, a diet of fried foods isn’t healthy for anyone. The researchers note, regardless of genetics everyone should watch what they eat. (Via ABC

But it is helpful for people who are genetically susceptible to obesity to at least be aware, as one genetics and nutrition expert told HealthDay "Your peers can afford to have an extra serving or be sedentary and they will be OK, but for you it won't happen. That's important to know."

According to USA Today, the researchers hope their findings can lead to more individualized prescriptions for treating obesity. Their study was published in the British Medical Journal.