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April 13, 2007

Higher Body Fat Linked to Gene

British gene hunters said they have found the strongest DNA marker yet for obesity, and one that is very common among most Europeans. The investigators first identified the gene, FTO, in the DNA of people with type 2, or late-onset diabetes, a condition that is lifestyle-related.

Individuals with one copy of the FTO variant had a 30 percent higher risk of being obese than people without it. In people with two copies of the "fat" gene, the risk rose to 67 percent, and they packed an additional 6.6 pounds in fat on average compared to people without any copies of the allele.

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