back to article Researchers serve up obesity gene

Researchers have identified a variant of a gene that, should you be blessed with two copies, makes you prone to retaining extra weight. Those with one copy of the mutant FTO gene are 30 per cent more likely to be obese, while those with two copies, the researchers say, are 70 per cent more likely to be dangerously overweight. …

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Just another risk factor

Sadly the mainstream press seems unable to distinguish between a cause and a risk factor. This is no different from cancer genes like BRCA1, it simply increases risk of cancer not causes it (mutant BRCA1 actually causes cells to fail to repair DNA properly making any damage from external sources much more likely to lead to cancer).

As we all know the true cause of obesity is failure to wear your tinfoil hat, the population is so much easier to oppress when it can't muster the energy to get off its collective fat arse and oppose the govt

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Not a complete surprise

I expect we all know people who seem to be able to eat large meals and take minimal exercise while remaining as thin as a rake. But the only way to lose weight (whatever your genetic code) is simple - eat less and/or exercise more.

As the old saw has it: "nobody came out of Belsen overweight" (though it's certainly possible that the only ones to come out of Belsen were those who were overweight when they went in).

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But what's the mechanism

The press seem to be supposing that somehow having two copies of this gene make you more able to extract energy from food.So everyone else, through human history has been needlessly wasting some fraction of the food they eat for lack of the right gene?

Seems more likely that they've found the gene for greediness/laziness/indolence/dislike-of-sport or some such which is sure to correlate pretty well with having a few extra pounds.

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