Is This the Key to Lasting Weight Loss?

Photo (cc) by Alan Cleaver

Science might soon provide new tools for people hoping to lose weight after failing to accomplish that goal in years past.

A new report in the peer-reviewed journal Obesity concludes that incorporating data like genetic test results into weight-loss efforts has the potential to improve results.

The report describes this personalized treatment approach as “precision weight loss” — and the lead author says it could be available in the near future.

Molly Bray, a geneticist who works as a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, says in a university news release:

“I think within five years, we’ll see people start to use a combination of genetic, behavioral and other sophisticated data to develop individualized weight management plans.”

The report summarizes a review of a broad range of research from institutions across the world, and it identifies key areas for future research.

Various studies suggest that about half of the variation in people’s body mass index — a measure of weight that also takes height into consideration — can be attributed to genetic factors. The rest is attributed to environmental factors such as diet and exercise.

Research has also identified some of the genetic basis for weight-related diseases. For instance, one gene appears to cause calories to be stored as fat rather than be burned as energy, according to the University of Texas.

Bray says:

“We’ve made great strides in our understanding of what drives eating behavior, how fat cells are formed and how metabolism is altered before and after the onset of obesity.

“The time is ripe to take this wealth of data and find ways to utilize it more effectively to treat people in need.”

The challenge now is for scientists to develop tools to analyze genetic data that is available from sources ranging from saliva samples to fitness trackers.

Do you think weight is influenced more by genes or by the environment? Let us know what you think below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022
What Inflation Means for Social Security Checks in 2022

Recent inflation figures were ugly. Here’s what they hint about the next Social Security benefits adjustment.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.