Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Unbearable Muffin Top

Within our community we're acutely aware of Punjabis being prone to weight gain. Now scientists have pinpointed a gene sequence linked to an expanding waist line, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. While the gene sequence is carried by 50% of the population, it is a third more common within the Indian community.
The finding might provide a possible genetic explanation for the particularly high levels of obesity in Indian Asians, who make up 25% of the world's population, but who are expected to account for 40% of global cardiovascular disease by 2020. The gene sequence sits close to - and possibly influences - a gene called MC4R, which regulates energy levels in the body by influencing how much we eat and how much energy we expend or conserve, and which has been directly implicated in rare forms of extreme childhood obesity.The researchers discovered that the sequence is associated with a 2cm expansion in waist circumference, a 2kg gain in weight, and a tendency to become resistant to insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. [Link]