This means that people with genes that predispose them to be obese are more susceptible to the harmful effects of sugary drinks on their weight, said one of the study leaders, Harvard’s Dr. Frank Hu. The opposite also was true _ avoiding these drinks can minimize the effect of obesity genes.
“Two bad things can act together and their combined effects are even greater than either effect alone,” Hu said. “The flip side of this is everyone has some genetic risk of obesity, but the genetic effects can be offset by healthier beverage choices. It’s certainly not our destiny” to be fat, even if we carry genes that raise this risk.
The study was funded mostly by federal grants, with support from two drug companies for the genetic analysis.
Obesity info: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html
BMI calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bminojs.htm
New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org
Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP