Scientists say they’ve found new ‘hungry gene’ that causes obesity

It’s almost too good to be true — a free pass on obesity, based on a scientific finding. But those who’ve tried to lose weight and trim down, only to find their efforts thwarted time and again, may have a new excuse: It’s due to the “hungry gene,” new science suggests.

Researchers with the University of Cambridge in Britain said they looked at 2,101 obese patients and found that several with the same mutation of a gene called KSR2 were hungrier than those with normal variances of the gene, the Daily Mail reported. They also found that those with the mutated gene had much slower metabolisms than others with the normal gene.

“The discovery of a new obesity gene, KSR2, demonstrates that genes can contribute to obesity by reducing the metabolic rate — i.e. how well the body burns calories,” Dr. I. Sadaf Farooqi of Cambridge said in the Daily Mail.

The discovery opens the door to new drugs that could treat obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes, which often comes on the heels of obesity.

“This work adds to a growing body of evidence that genes play a major role in influencing a person’s weight and may be useful for developing new ways to treat people who are heavy and develop diabetes,” Dr. Farooqi said in the report.

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