Thursday, March 15, 2012

Walking Could Lower Effect Of Genetic Predisposition For Obesity, Study Suggests from Huffington Post

Walking briskly for just an hour a day is enough to cut the effect of genetic tendencies toward obesity, according to new research.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health also found that staying sedentary -- measured in the study by how long a person watched TV per day -- worsened the effects of the "obesity genes."

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half," study researcher Qibin Qi, Ph.D., a post doctorate research fellow at Harvard, said in a statement. "On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Qi and colleagues analyzed data from 7,740 women and 4,564 men who were part of the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They looked at the study participants' physical activity and TV watching habits two years before they looked at their body mass indexes (BMI, a ratio of weight to height that tells whether a person is obese or overweight).

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