Role of nutrigenomics in curbing Obesity
52% of the global adult population is either overweight or obese. According to WHO, Obesity refers to excessive fat accumulation that can negatively impact our health. In order words, people having body mass index(BMI), ratio of Height & weight above 30 are considered as obese( considering abnormal fat accumulation, some people-bodybuilders/weight lifters having BMI 30 plus have large amount of muscle mass & as such they would not be considered as Obese). Most of us think Obesity is a function of what we eat & how much we eat- consuming more calories & burning less. However, this is too good to be true. It is important to note that obesity is really complex. There are 12 causes of obesity, one of which is genetics. According to a recent study, it was found that Genetics accounts for almost 70% of a person’s risk of attracting obesity. Genetic mutations or genes which we carry from our parents increases our risk of obesity & explains why risk of obesity is high for people having a family history of obesity.
Your genes determine the amount of fat you store & where the fat is deposited. Your genetic makeup also determines how efficiently you convert your food into energy & number of calories you burn during exercise. It is important to understand the cause & effect that lead to obesity.
Obesity can lead to a number of health risks & diseases such as type 2 diabetes & cardiovascular diseases( to name a few). It also increases chances of experiencing severe symptoms of these lifestyle diseases if you attract COVID-19. Having obesity can lead to massive reduction in the quality of life( specifically during Pandemic times) of impacted individuals & their families. However, this does not mean that you cannot get rid of this dreaded disease. Obesity is preventable as well as reversible. Weight management is an important consideration specifically for those who have high genetic risk of attracting obesity. Making lifestyle changes such as cutting down on consumption of saturated fat & sugary stuff, lowering alcohol consumption(specifically those having high genetic risk to alcohol consumption), eating more of fruits & veggies ( improves your gut health & gut diversity) & regular workout regime is a great way to kick start your calorie output journey & also take care of stress management
How Nutrigenomics helps in minimising risks associated with Obesity? In depth understanding how your body responds to nutrition based on your genetic makeup can help you make informed decisions about your food choices that you need to make in your weight loss efforts. Nutrigenomics ensured that you have adequate knowledge & information about your optimal diet time & composition of macronutrients that help you meet your fitness goals. Your genetic report can help you understand how to structure your diet & where to put your focus on a diet that can help you reduce your risk of attracting diabetes. Your fat & carbs sensitivity can help you understand how you can minimise the risk by altering the proportion of fat & carbs in your diet. It can tell you the risk of weight gain with a diet high in saturated fats & refined carbs respectively. In can you have high genetic predisposition/risk to these components you can use results from your genetic reports to include the optimal amount & type of carbohydrates & fats in your diet aligned with your genetic makeup.
You should aim to structure your exercise schedule aimed to improve your aerobic level to start with. This will enable you to improve your metabolic rate & increase the duration of exercise which will help in increasing your calorie burn. You can start with steady state cardio at low intensity for a period of 45 minutes to an hour every day. As a second step, you can switch to Metabolic resistance training(MRT)/HIIT training. High intensity cardio is a great way to further augment your aerobic capacity.The objective is to maintain moderate intensity for a longer period of time to increase the number of calories burnt during those sessions to lose weight.
Aerobic training results can vary from individual to individual since everyone would have a different metabolic rate. Some individuals may see quick & effective results to lose weight in terms of tolerating higher workloads while others may take a little long time to respond to aerobic training. This essentially will also depend upon your genetic predisposition to muscle fibre type, body type, injury risk, recovery period etc.
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PS: Originally published on www.thesushantkumar.com