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Less Sedentary Time May Attenuate Genetic Role in Obesity

Last Updated: October 23, 2017.

Interactions between genes and physical activity and genes and sedentary behavior may play a role in the development of obesity, according to a study published in the October issue of Diabetes.

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Interactions between genes and physical activity and genes and sedentary behavior may play a role in the development of obesity, according to a study published in the October issue of Diabetes.

Jee-Young Moon, Ph.D., from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and colleagues analyzed interactions of accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time with genetic variants on obesity among 9,645 U.S. Hispanics/Latinos. Ninety-seven genetic variants associated with body mass index (BMI) were used to calculate an overall genetic risk score (GRS), central nervous system (CNS)-related GRS, and non-CNS GRS.

The researchers found that genetic association with BMI was stronger in individuals with lower MVPA (first tertile) versus higher MVPA (third tertile; Pinteraction = 0.005) and in those with greater sedentary time (third tertile) versus less sedentary time (first tertile; Pinteraction = 0.006). Obesity risk, body fat mass, fat percentage, fat mass index, and waist circumference all had similar significant interaction patterns. However, no association was seen for fat-free mass. The CNS GRS showed significant interactions with MVPA and sedentary behavior on BMI and other adiposity traits, but the non-CNS GRS did not.

"Our data suggest that both increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior may attenuate genetic associations with obesity, though the independence of these interaction effects needs further investigation," the authors write.

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