Genetics play a major role in athletic performance, muscular potential, stress tolerance, behaviour and much more. However all too often people blame poor genetics for their inability to reach a certain physical target. This article will explore the role of genetics in weight loss based on the current scientific literature to give you a more clear understanding of its impact.
A 2019 study titled Genetic Predictors Of Weight Loss Of Overweight And Obese Subjects aimed to “identify the genetic factors associated with weight loss that could be used as predictive markers in weight loss interventions”. The researchers identified several genotypes associated with obesity that were present in the participants. They used a mathematical model to assign a genetic score to each participant based on the presence of these genotypes. The lower scores reflected a lesser presence of these genotypes and higher scores reflected the opposite.
The findings reported that genetic scores accounted for 2.4% variance in weight loss after one year which was the first check in. This variance decreased to 1.6% after adjusting for confounding variables (1). If this were a 4 week intervention a 2.4% variance might be significant because when extrapolated over longer periods, it could potentially result in more significant weight loss comparatively. However since the variance was simply 1.6% over the span of multiple years, it would be hard to argue that genetics are a primary obstruction to weight loss.
The conclusion of the paper is in line with the rest of the current literature on weight loss and genetics. Lifestyle interacts with genetics to produce obesity (2). But the genetic role is often overemphasized while the lifestyle factors are undervalued. Lifestyle plays a much more significant role in obesity and weight loss than genetic factors. As such, you have authority over the decisions you make which can lead you to either lasting weight loss or obesity.
Good luck, lift big ✌️
1. Lamiquiz-Moneo, Itziar, Rocío Mateo-Gallego, Ana M. Bea, Blanca Dehesa-García, Sofía Pérez-Calahorra, Victoria Marco-Benedí, Lucía Baila-Rueda, Martín Laclaustra, Fernando Civeira, and Ana Cenarro. "Genetic Predictors of Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Subjects." Scientific Reports 9, no. 1 (2019). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-47283-5.
2. Marti, A., M. J. Moreno-Aliaga, J. Hebebrand, and J. A. Martínez. "Genes, Lifestyles and Obesity." International Journal of Obesity 28, no. S3 (2004). doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802808.