If you are one of the millions of people with the so-called "fat mass and obesity associated" (FTO) gene, you might be more predisposed to obesity but that doesn't mean you should fret or give up on exercise.
Weight is of course a detriment to endurance athletes but a new study holds out hope for people with the FTO gene.
"We hope that studies like ours convince people that even when genetically susceptible, a healthy lifestyle will help in the prevention of weight gain," said study author Ruth Loos, group leader of the Genetic Aetiology of Obesity Programme at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England.
The mega-study which compared and analyzed data from 45 prior studies and 218,000 participants was recently published in the journal PLoS Medicine and found that the (FTO) gene has a, "27 percent weaker effect on physically active adults compared to inactive ones," according to USA Today.
"What did surprise us was that the (exercise) effect was more pronounced in North Americans than in Europeans," Loos said.
"We speculate that this might be due to the fact the Europeans are 'generally' less obese and more physically active than North Americans, and that there is a greater range of BMI (body mass index) and physical activity in North Americans such that the effect can be larger," she added.