Am I Prone to Becoming Obese?

Knowing your genetic susceptibility helps in effective weight management.

Do you often resort to getting fast food for the whole family, after a long day of sitting at your working desk, simply because it is convenient, relatively cheap and the children seem to love it? Is it common for gadgets and television to keep your children indoors and sedentary, with minimal engagement in sports and other physical activities?

If this happens regularly enough, it increases the likelihood of your family members becoming overweight or obese. Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, with two-thirds of adults being categorised as overweight. 38 million children under the age of 5 were also categorised as overweight or obese in 2019.

Obesity is a medical condition, whereby excess body fat has accumulated to a level that negatively impacts our health. It is commonly measured using the body mass index (BMI) scale. WHO categorises an individual with a BMI between 25.0 and 30.0 to be overweight whereas a BMI greater than 30.0 is dened as obese.

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem

that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, depression and ultimately a shorter life expectancy, responsible for 4.7 million premature deaths each year.

By and large, obesity is still widely thought of as a simple result of poor lifestyle choices – of excessive food intake compared to little movement and exercise. The reality is very different, whereby some people still become overweight and obese despite doing everything right, partly because of their genetic susceptibility.

A DNA test will cover the genes of interest for genetic obesity risk; such as FTO, MC4R, TNF, APOA2 and ADIPOQ.

Some genetic proles are associated with a greater propensity for gaining weight. From the variant profile of the five genes, the risk of each individual’s genetic obesity can be estimated as being lower, normal or increased.

A study published by the Karolinska Institute in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, states that adults who carry two copies of the FTO gene variant – about 1 in 6 people – weigh on average 7 pounds more than those who do not carry the genes. People with certain differences in this FTO gene have a 20% to 30% higher chance of obesity and face a harder time managing and maintaining a healthy weight through their lifetime.

If your parents are obese, you’re more likely to be too. The University of Michigan’s research on families and obesity, reveals that children of overweight parents have an 80% chance of being similarly overweight.

However, overweight and obesity as well as their related non-communicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the option of healthier foods and regular physical activity – the easiest choice!

We can make lifestyle choices in our individual capacity to ght the odds, starting from our diet. Minimise consumption of fat or sugar as a source of energy intake and instead, increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole food and nuts.

To complement healthier food choices, engage in physical activity and make it a priority even when life gets busy. As a guide, children are recommended to engage in at least 60 minutes of regular physical activity a day, with 150 minutes spread through the week for adults.

Get Your DNA Test Now!
Health Starts by Knowing Your Genes.

Find and Get your DNA Kit from your nearest health professional below!

Kevin Tiong Kai Kin

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Taman Pelangi)

Lim Ee Foong

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Mahkota Cheras)

Hii Hieng Chiew

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Sungai Chua)

Lai Ying Jiun

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Sungai Besar)

Tay Yun Min

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Mentakab)
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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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