We've Found the "Fat Gene" and Goddammit, it's Hereditary

By Gerald Lynch on at

Tried the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers or plain old fasting to shift that excess paunch you're carrying, and all to no avail? It may not be entirely your fault -- researchers have pinpointed the mutated gene that gives people a genetic disposition towards obesity. And, being hereditary, it's yet another thing you can blame on your parents.

The mutated CEP19 gene regulates apetite and energy balance, according to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. Examining a large Arab family that had 13 morbidly obese members, 31 relatives that did not suffer from weight issues were not found to have the mutation.

Humans are not alone in suffering the effects of a mutated CEP19 gene, with everything from mice right down to single-cell organisms adding to the weight of evidence against it being the root of some people's obesity struggles.

However, experts have also been quick to clarify that, even despite the finding, a healthy lifestyle is imperative to keeping weight at comfortable levels. So, no blaming your gut on the CEP19 when you're stuffing your face with a Big Mac meal then.[Metro]

Image credit: Overweight stomach from Shutterstock.com