Researchers have shown that a rogue gene linked to obesity makes us fat by boostingappetite.
This deep-seated drive to eat could also explain why so many of us succumb to temptation, no matter how strong our initial resolve to lose weight, according to the journal Nature Genetics.
The breakthrough opens the door for drugs that take the edge off appetite, melting away ‘muffin tops’ and pruning pot bellies, reports the Daily Mail.
Oxford University and the Medical Research Council researchers studied a gene called FTO, which when discovered in 2007, was the first gene to be linked with obesity.
Up to 14 percent of Britons carry two rogue copies of FTO, increasing their risk of obesity by 70 percent and diabetes by 50 percent. These people are, on average, almost half a stone heavier.
The 49 percent who have inherited just one flawed FTO gene are 30 percent more likely to be obese than those with two normal copies of the gene and 25 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
Scientists found that mice bred to have extra copies of the rogue gene were healthy, but ate more and became heavier than normal rodents.
Researcher Chris Church said: “For the first time, we have provided convincing proof that the FTO gene causes obesity.”
Prof Frances Ashcroft, one of the research leaders, said: “Too much activity of this gene can lead to putting on weight by overeating.”
Source: zee news