Snips about SNPs: FTO and your weight

The FTO gene has the unfortunate nickname of the ‘fatso gene’ because several FTO variants are associated with obesity.  Lots of studies link it to being likely to have a higher BMI.  [ref][ref]

Of course, this SNP isn’t entirely to blame if you have weight problems. Your dietary choices, activity level, and other genetic variants also come into play. One study showed that this FTO SNP is associated with an average increase in weight of 7lbs. Another study linked it to an increase of 1.4 to 2.8 BMI points.[ref][ref]

Check your genetic data for rs9939609 (23andMe v4, v5; AncestryDNA)

  • A/A: higher risk of obesity, increased BMI
  • A/T: increased risk of obesity, increased BMI
  • T/T: normal

 

Want to know more? Get all the details in the full article on the FTO gene.

 

*SNP stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, which is when one of the nucleotide bases (the A, C, G, or Ts) is replaced by a different nucleotide base in a gene.  Want to know more about your genes? Read through all the Snips about SNPs



Author Information:   Debbie Moon
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. She holds a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. Debbie is a science communicator who is passionate about explaining evidence-based health information. Her goal with Genetic Lifehacks is to bridge the gap between scientific research and the lay person's ability to utilize that information. To contact Debbie, visit the contact page.