According to Netdoctor story: Exercise cuts genetic tendency for obesity that people with a genetic predisposition to obesity can reduce their risk by taking regular exercise, scientists say.

A study by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge suggests that exercise can reduce the genetic tendency for obesity by almost 40 per cent.

Dr Ruth Loos and colleagues studied data on 20,430 people in order to investigate 12 different genetic variants that are linked to obesity.

They found that each additional genetic variant carried by an individual was associated with an increase in body mass index (BMI) equivalent to 445g in weight for a person with a height of 1.7m.

However, in individuals who did plenty of exercise, the increase was 36 per cent lower than in physically inactive people.

Writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, the study authors said their findings show that even those people with a high genetic predisposition to obesity can benefit from leading a healthy lifestyle.

‘Our findings further emphasise the importance of physical activity in the prevention of obesity,’ they concluded.

Tam Fry, a spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, told the Daily Express that the findings were ‘not rocket science’.

He insisted: ‘Whatever your genetic make-up, exercise [and] physical activity is fundamental and genes should never be an excuse for not doing any.’