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This Trumps Genetics in Determining Your BMI


Don’t be quick to blame genetics if you’re gaining weight! Researchers of a new longitudinal study have found a factor that actually trumps your genes when it comes to your amount of body fat…

Did you know obesity rates have more than tripled since 1980? And postmenopausal women, as they age, are more likely to put on extra pounds in their waistlines, but can actually beat genetic predisposition to determining body fat by simply exercising more.

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Yes, exercising more is the answer! Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and a new study corroborates these findings. The findings are based on data commissioned by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). There are risk factors for sure, but don’t entirely blame gaining weight on genetics, or your family history.

Researchers Find Exercise (Not Genes) Determine Amount of Body Fat

The Menopause online journal from NAMS debunks claims that genes entirely influence body mass index (BMI), and, as we know, waistlines do increase in size from childhood to early adulthood. In fact, lifestyle modification can overcome obesity genes through regular exercise. Results were published in the latest issue of the journal after following more than 8,200 women later in life as part of a Women’s Health Initiative longitudinal study.

Their results indicate physical activity, or exercise, have greater influence over an individual’s genetic predisposition to becoming obese. This effect, moreover, is most obvious in women age 70 years and older (the oldest age group in the study). Findings from the study encourage federal guidelines to promote and maintain healthy behaviors, especially in older female adults, to ensure longer lives in addition to a higher quality of longer lives.

Exercise Your Way to a Healthier You!

This study recommends all adults — men and women — can improve their overall lives and health through exercise, and it hopes to end the discussion of blaming family genetics on obesity later in life. Previous studies have indicated that genetics solely influence BMI.

Exercise improves muscle mass, bone strength and balance, especially as women get older, according to NAMS Executive Director JoAnn Pinkerton, M.D. Exercise not only shows the effects on the improvement of the outward physical body, but exercise also energizes brain cells and improves concentration, mood and cognition.

The bottom line is exercise can improve overall outer and inner health, regardless of genes, age or BMI. Physical activity ultimately demonstrates the importance of its effects in older adult women.


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