Some people have to work 73 percent harder than others to get the same weight loss results, study finds

People who have a collection of “fat genes” need to exercise 73% more to achieve the same weight loss as someone without the genetic predisposition, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville found that some people with a high genetic risk of obesity will need to walk about 15,000 steps to see weight loss, compared with just under 5,000 for those with a low genetic risk.

Even those at moderate risk will need to walk 41 percent more steps than people at low risk. This is based on people not making any changes to their diet.

The researchers said this is the first study of its kind to highlight the exact differences in physical activity between those with different genetic predispositions.

“I think it’s intuitive that people who have a higher genetic risk of obesity may need to do more physical activity to reduce that risk,” said lead author and professor of cardiovascular medicine Dr. Evan Brittain.

“But what’s new and important about this study is that we were able to put a number on the amount of activity needed to reduce risk.”

Genetics play an important factor in maintaining weight

For their study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the researchers analyzed four years of data from 3,124 participants’ fitness trackers, medical records and genetic information.

Using previous data on telltale genetic patterns that are specific to obesity, the researchers classified each person into one of three different groups based on their relative genetic risk.

If participants had certain genes or reported that their parents had obesity-related problems such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, they were classified as having a higher genetic risk for obesity.

People at moderate risk might have had some of the genetic components that contribute to obesity, such as individual mutations or a family history of obesity, but lacked others.

Those in the lowest-risk group had no family history or had very few and a lower-than-average number of obesity-associated mutations.

The authors found that for people at low genetic risk, only 3660 steps per day were recommended.

For people with a moderate genetic risk of obesity, experts recommend about 8,740 steps a day.

The researchers cautioned that the recommended number of steps would vary based on a person’s body mass index, or BMI, with those at the higher end of the scale requiring the most steps.

About 41 percent of American adults are obese, according to the CDC. And 400,000 people in the United States die from complications from the disease each year, according to Mayo Clinic research.

Previous studies show that up to 80 percent of obesity cases can be explained by a genetic predisposition.

A new study shows a difference of up to 73 percent in the amount of physical activity needed to change weight among those with different genetic risks for obesity.

A new study shows a difference of up to 73 percent in the amount of physical activity needed to change weight among those with different genetic risks for obesity.

The authors say that many of the national recommendations for exercise were not created with obese people in mind.

The results highlight the need for personalized approaches to medicine and exercise, said Douglas Ruderfer, professor of Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine, at VUMC, who co-authored the study.

“Physical activity guidelines do not account for individual differences.”

Therefore, the researchers suggest that their findings should be used to form new guidelines.

“I think an important component of this result is that individuals can be active enough to take into account their genetic background or their genetic risk for obesity, regardless of how high that risk may be,” Ruderfer said. .

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