We may bask in the glory of modern technology today – smartphones, apps, the Internet and how these advances have made life easier by a just a few clicks and taps. However, this led to a more sedentary lifestyle (couch potatos, *ehem *ehem) than generations before, how many children nowadays go out and actually play with other kids?
Carl Zimmer writes for The New York Times about several scientific studies have shown that our less-physically strenuous way of life today has triggered a gene that causes obesity:
People born before the early 1940s were not at additional risk of putting on weight if they had the risky variant of FTO. Only subjects born in later years had a greater risk. And the more recently they were born, the scientists found, the greater the gene’s effect.
Some change in the way people lived in the late 20th century may have transformed FTO into a gene with a big impact on the risk of obesity, the researchers theorized. Giles S.H. Yeo, a geneticist at the University of Cambridge who wasn’t involved in the study, said he suspected that physical activity had something to do with the change.
It is possible that before World War II, people were so physically active that they were shielded from FTO’s obesity risks. As people became sedentary, they lost that protection and the gene emerged as a danger.
So it’s alright to hit the gym or simply get up and move about. Specially if you have the FTO gene.
In my case, I could use a little help from that gene as I need to put on more weight.