Monday, November 23, 2015

High obesity in children due to gene mutation

Obesity has been a long lasting problem and is due to a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. At least that's what people thought for many years now.  Childhood obesity has been a major concern and is now on the rise in the United States of America.  British researchers analyzed 2,100 obese children and found that ones with a mutation in the KSR2 gene had much larger appetites and a slower metabolism than children with no mutation.  The children with the mutation have a large appetite causing them to take more calories than an average child age their age.  With the addition of a slow metabolism, the body will burn those calories at a much slower rate than usual.  The combination of these two things are a recipe for obesity no matter what type diet or exercise plan the child is on. 

The researchers took the experiment further by deleting the KSR2 gene in mice.  What happens after the deletion of that gene is that the mice became obese, proving that gene controls metabolism as well as energy levels.  The KSR2 gene explains why some people gain weight more easily than others and why some can eat everything they lay their eye on and not gain a pound.  This finding may be useful when treating people with Type 2 diabetes.  It is very important for parents to teach children healthy eating habits and to exercise daily tp help decrease the obesity in the country.

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