ARE YOUR GENETICS KEEPING YOU FAT?
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.