Finnish study on twins says adult Body Mass Index a highly heritable trait
For those of us interested in aging and obesity, this Finnish study on twins and adult BMI offers a unique view on what the study reports is a highly heritable trait. However, as we age, environmental influences also have a major role in the eventual development of obesity and associated comorbidities. The study found that higher levels of physical activity in adolescence can prevent the development of obesity in adult age, and the genetic predisposition to weight gain can be counteracted by an active lifestyle. Simultaneously physical fitness declines and the ability to participate in the very activities that promote healthy cardiovascular and endocrine functions are compromised, leading to a vicious cycle of more weight gain and an escalation in the pathological processes described above. The studies here reviewed continue to give more information on these processes and the ongoing follow-up of these rare, discordant twins is sure to provide even more insight into the continuing process of weight gain over an individual's lifetime.