Researchers have finally answered the age-old question: is weight gain around the tummy a matter of genetics or down to your diet?
Tummy fat is mostly caused by diet
While there’s obviously something to be said for both, scientists have revealed that the chemical reactions in your gut – caused by what you eat – affects how fat develops on your body. This is great news for anyone wanting to lose weight, as it shows that most of us are able to make changes with real impact by altering our diets and gut health.
They also pinpointed why fat gathers around the tummy and waist – important research for helping to combat type 2 diabetes.
Genes have a small impact on weight
Just under a fifth of the gut processes which affect how you store fat are hereditary, which suggests most of us can control our weight through diet and lifestyle.
A whopping 67.7% of gut activity is controlled by its environment, ie what you eat and drink, so a healthy gut is extra important.
- Add these probiotic foods to your diet for a healthy gut!
Twin gut bacteria study
The study, by King’s College London, examined 500 pairs of twins to see changes in their gut bacteria based on what they eat. They analysed stool samples and discovered biomarkers (a gene, characteristic or molecule) that caused fat to build around the waist.
The researchers said that the work ‘opens up many ways to use food as medicine.’
‘This is exciting, because unlike our genes and our innate risk to develop fat around the belly, the gut microbes can be modified with probiotics, with drugs or with high fibre diets,’ said Dr Jonas Zierer.