This is welcome news for those who blame their obesity on genes. Evadnie Rampersaud is an associate research professor at the Miami institute for human genomic at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has made a detailed study and discovered that the Amish people ate a diet, which was high in calories and had a lot of refined sugar and fat yet they maintained super low obesity levels. She conducted a survey of 711 participants. Their lifestyle was closely studied and their activity monitored. It was found that they were able to maintain low obesity levels due to their lifestyle, which entailed a lot of physical activity. It was found that on an average a man walks 18,000 steps and a woman 14000 in a day The results of the study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (September 8)
Evadine says, “A lot of the Amish are farmers and participate in manual activities,” “Even household chores are intense because they don’t have the conveniences that we have.”
This is surprising for the Amish have the FTO gene which is supposed to have aclose relation to Obesity and high BMI (Body Mass Index).most had atleast one gene but some had even two, regardless of this gene there were very rae cases of obesity.
“The studies show that if you have two copies of the gene and you’re incorporating physical activity in your daily life, you’re less likely to become obese,” says Rampersaud. “This tells us that we’re not doomed by our genes.”
But she doesn’t recommend people run to the nearest geneticist and get tested. “Obesity isn’t really determined by genetics alone, but by environmental factors as well. (This quote has been modified from the original to render it more accurate, at Rampersaud’s request. The original quote was: “Obesity isn’t really determined by genetics, but by environmental factors.”) We’re not doomed to become obese because we have this gene that we may or may not know about. By living a healthy lifestyle, getting physical activity, eating a proper diet, you can actually impact the final outcome.” Similarly, those without the variation shouldn’t deem it a license to sit on the sofa and pig out.
Rampersaud also cautions against believing that this means people have to exercise six to nine hours a day to keep off the pounds. “You are going to have an increased benefit depending on the amount of exercise you get,” she says. “But we need large scale studies in the general population to really figure this out.”