If you’re convinced your family genes are the reason why you seem to gain those extra pounds so easily, UCLA scientists say you might be right.
In their first-of-a-kind study in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers on the Westwood campus compared the metabolic responses of more than a hundred strains of mice fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet.
They placed the mice on a normal diet for the first eight weeks of life, then switched them for the following eigth weeks to a high-fat, high-sugar diet that mimicked a fast-food diet.
During the “fast-food” style feeding, the fat of each mouse was measured at five points. When researchers compared the measurements, they discovered body-fat increases ranging from 0 percent to more than 600 percent among the mouse strains – suggesting that DNA plays a greater role in packing on the pounds than does overconsumption.
The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, challenges the prevailing notion that fast-food consumption coupled with a sedentary lifestyle is the most significant factor contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic.
The researchers say their findings emphasize the importance of genetics in controlling obesity.