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Brisk Daily Walk Could Counter 'Obesity Genes'
Date:3/14/2012

c effect. For each two hours a day people spent watching TV, the BMI went up by 0.03 kg/m-squared.

The differences wouldn't amount to much for many individuals. A 6-foot-tall person who weighs 200 pounds would have a BMI of 27.1, and an increase of one pound would boost the BMI to 27.3 -- a 0.2 difference.

So should you take an hour-long walk every day to beat back our genetic heritage?

"We don't know whether it is just physical activity that reduced the genetic risk, or whether a generally healthy lifestyle would have the same effect," said Ruth Loos, director of Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "After all, people who are physically active tend to eat more healthily and smoke less, etc., but in these types of studies the contribution of these different aspects of a healthy lifestyle are hard to tease apart."

The study was scheduled to be presented Wednesday at an American Heart Association meeting in San Diego. Data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more about obesity, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Qibin Qi, Ph.D., research fellow, department of nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Ruth Loos, Ph.D., professor and director, Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; March 14, 2012, presentation, American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions, San Diego


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