How Jogging Can Best Fight Against Obesity Genes?
Obesity is a common health issue that is defined by having a high percentage of body fat. A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is an indicator of obesity.
Over the last few decades, obesity has become a considerable health problem. In fact, it’s now considered to be an epidemic in the United States.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 93.3 million adults (39.8 percent) and 13.7 million children and teens (18.5 percent) in the United States are obese.
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Despite the rising percentages, there are plenty of ways to prevent obesity in adults. And people who are genetically prone to obesity may gain weight more easily than others.
A new study suggests that certain types of exercise may help ward off obesity, even for those who are genetically predisposed to the condition.
The study researchers analyzed information from more than 18,000 people in Taiwan ages 30 to 70 who provided blood samples and had their genomes sequenced. Participants reported whether they exercised regularly, and if so, what type of exercise they typically did.
The researchers then scanned participants’ genomes, looking for genes that were tied to an increased risk of obesity. Next, the investigators examined whether certain exercises seemed to counteract this risk. (The researchers used several measures of obesity, including body mass index, or BMI; body fat percentage; and waist and hip circumference.)
Overall, people who reported engaging in any type of regular exercise tended to have a lower BMI than those who didn’t engage in regular exercise. This was true even among people who were genetically prone to obesity.
But one tried-and-true exercise stood out as the one with the strongest anti-obesity effect: jogging. Participants with obesity genes who jogged tended to have a lower BMI, lower body fat percentage and a smaller hip circumference than people with similar genetic risk who did not jog.
But for those who loathe jogging, fear not: Five other types of exercise were also tied to a lower BMI among individuals at risk for obesity. These included mountain climbing, walking, power walking, certain types of dancing (such as ballroom dancing) and lengthy yoga sessions.
The benefits of these exercises were biggest among those with the greatest genetic risk of obesity.
These findings indicate that “although hereditary factors are critical to obesity, performing different kinds of exercise can modify this relationship,” the authors wrote in their paper, which was published Aug. 1 in the journal PLOS Genetics. In other words, your genes aren’t your destiny.
Interestingly, several other types of exercise failed to counteract the genetic risk of obesity. These included cycling, stretching exercises and swimming, as well as the video game “Dance Dance Revolution” — to the disappointment of “DDR” fans everywhere.
The findings don’t mean that these latter exercises can’t help with weight control. It’s just that they didn’t seem to offset the genetic propensity to gain weight.
Obesity Prevention For Adults
Many of these obesity prevention tips are the same for losing or maintaining a healthy weight. The bottom is line that eating a healthy diet and getting more physical activity can help prevent obesity.
Consume Less “Bad” Fat And More “Good” Fat
Contrary to the belief behind the low-fat diet craze of the ’90s, not all fat is bad. A 2017 study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that intake of healthy dietary fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, can improve cholesterol levels and reduce obesity risk.
Consume Less Processed And Sugary Foods
According to a 2016 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods is linked to a higher risk of obesity. Many processed foods are high in fat, salt, and sugar, which can encourage overeating.
Eat Plenty Of Dietary Fiber
Studies continue to show that dietary fiber plays a role in weight maintenance. One 2012 trial found that people who took a fiber complex supplement three times daily for 12 weeks lost up to 5 percent of their body weight..
Engage In Regular Aerobic Activity
Incorporating regular physical activity into your schedule is important for maintaining or losing weight, among other benefits. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.
Focus On Reducing Daily Stress
Stress can have many effects on the body and mind. A 2012 study suggests that stress may trigger a brain response that changes eating patterns and leads to cravings for high-calorie foods. Eating too many high-calorie foods can contribute to the development of obesity.
Why Obesity Prevention Matter?
Preventing obesity plays an important role in good health. Obesity is associated with a long list of chronic health conditions, many of which become more difficult to treat over time. These conditions include:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides and low “good” cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Sexual health issues
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Mental Health Conditions
By focusing on obesity prevention and lifestyle changes, it may be possible to slow or prevent the development of these diseases.