U.K. researchers have figured out a blood test that provides a better argument for a genetic predisposition to obesity in addition to environmental factors (e.g., a lack of exercise and unhealthy diet). At the Universities of Southampton, Plymouth and Exeter, scientists have used a blood test to measure the levels of epigenetic switches in the gene that controls the storage of fat in the body (the PGC1a gene).

According the U.K. research, epigenetic switches are subtle shifts in gene activity that happen during early development and impact how genes express themselves from a physiological standpoint. The scientists’ work showed that more switching predicted a greater likelihood of obesity. By using the blood test with children, the research provides additional evidence that being overweight as children is not solely due to lifestyle–the processes that control their genes may also be involved.

This research looks promising. If the children who are at risk can be identified, then assistance can be provided to them before they start to put on weight.

For more details, here is the link to the UPI source: Blood Test for Obesity


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti