HAVING “fat genes” really is no excuse for being overweight, a study found.
Even people with a high genetic risk of obesity stayed slim if they exercised for 90 minutes a week.
Researchers found jogging was most effective at keeping the flab at bay.
And this was followed by mountain climbing, walking, dancing and long yoga sessions.
But swimming, cycling and stretching failed to lower body mass index, body fat or hip circumference.
National Taiwan University analysed the DNA and lifestyles of 18,424 volunteers aged 30 to 70.
‘PREDISPOSED TO OBESITY’
The boffins calculated a genetic risk score for each person and compared those with similar ratings.
Those who exercised regularly were less likely to be fat – even if they had a high risk score.
Study leader Wan-Yu Lin said: “The genetic effects on obesity measures can be decreased to various extents by performing different kinds of exercise.
“The benefits of regular physical exercise, especially jogging, are more impactful in subjects who are more predisposed to obesity.”
‘TOO MANY CAKES’
Commenting on the findings, Prof Steve Jones, from University College London, said: “Some among the thin group carried lots of genes that might have pushed them towards obesity – but they exercise much more than others, with jogging the most effective way to keep the lard at bay.
“For some people, too many cakes, and a lazy life, makes them fat. A regular run will solve their problem.”
Prof Lora Heisler, from the University of Aberdeen, said: “Those of us who are unlucky and gain weight more easily because of our genes can do something about it.
“This study shows that exercise can reduce obesity.
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“The message here? The sun is shining, grab some trainers and start trading in fat for muscle!”
Two in three British adults are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes.
The findings are published in the journal PLOS Genetics.