CHICAGO — One hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day can help teens beat the effects of a common obesity-related gene with the nickname “fatso,” according to a new European study.
The message for adolescents is to get moving, said lead author Jonatan Ruiz of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
“Be active in your way,” Ruiz said. “Activities such as playing sports are just fine and enough.”
One gene involved with obesity, the FTO gene, packs on the pounds when it shows up in a variant form. Exercising an hour or more daily made a big difference for teens were genetically predisposed to obesity. Their waist measurements, body mass index scores and body fat were the same, on average, as teenagers with regular genes.
But the teens with the gene variant had more body fat, bigger waists and higher BMI if they got less than an hour of exercise daily.
The results were similar for boys and girls.