A recent study published in the international journal Diabetologia showed that Australians who eat too many high fat snacks tend to put on more weight if they have someone in their family with diabetes.
The study included 40 healthy people who were asked to take an extra 1,250 calories worth of potato crisps, chocolate bars and milk based desserts every day for a month. These people were of varying weights with some being lean and some overweight.
Dr. Dorit Samocha-Bonet of the Sydney-based Garvan Institute of Medical Research, one of the researchers of the study, said that all put on weight. This was not difficult to anticipate she said. What was surprising was that that those with someone in their family suffering from Type II diabetes put on more than others. Dr Samocha-Bonet said, “We did expect to find those people who were susceptible to developing diabetes would have more adverse effects from overfeeding…but seeing they gained 1.2 kilograms on average (above) the other group was quite striking.” The results showed that hose who had a definite genetic link to diabetes put on an average of 3.4kg during the 28 days of deliberate overeating. Those with no family history put on an average of 2.2kg. The insulin levels among the former also changed. Dr. Samocha-Bonet explained that similar diet poor or high fat may act differently in different people based on their genetic make up. She said,”People with a family history of Type II diabetes have an increased risk to develop Type II diabetes in their lifetime and we wanted to kind of stress them a little bit to magnify maybe very early impairments.”
“The take-home message is quite positive because one can really avoid walking that path to the disease…You can't do anything about (your genes) but you can definitely change your lifestyle ... you can control your eating habits and exercise more,” she added.
At the end of the study the participants were put on a weight-loss strategy and most got back to their baseline weights by 12 to 14 weeks. The weight loss among those with a genetic link to diabetes was similar to those without the additional risk.