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Sharing Lifestyle with Partner More Effective Against Obesity than Childhood Upbringing, Says Study

Update Date: Feb 24, 2016 10:42 AM EST

The lifestyle that you share with your partner may have a bigger role to play in your obesity than your upbringing, suggests research.

According to a new study, by middle age, the choices that they make as a couple, in terms of diet and exercise, will have a much bigger impact on their wellbeing than the lifestyle they followed with their siblings or parents. As per the research findings, the people who belong to families with history of obesity will still be be able to lose weight if they change their habits. The researchers said that the study will help the scientists to comprehend the link between genetics, obesity and lifestyle. The study findings reiterate an important fact that changes to lifestyle made in adulthood can have an important effect on handling obesity, regardless of their genes, says the Telegraph

The study, led by professor Chris Haley of the Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit at the Edinburgh University, analyzed 20,000 people from Scottish families. The information was collected initially for Generation Scotland Project, a national resource of health data that allows the researchers to closely examine the genetic link to various health conditions.

Scientists studied the genes of people and the environment at home in their childhood and adulthood and then related them factors associated with obesity and health. A total of 16 factors were taken into account such as waist to hip ratio, body fat content, blood pressure and body mass index, New Zealand Herald reported

Prof Haley said of the findings: "Although genetics accounts for a significant proportion of the variation between people, our study has shown that the environment you share with your partner in adulthood also influences whether you become obese and this is more important than your upbringing.

"The findings also show that even people who come from families with a history of obesity can reduce their risk by changing their lifestyle habits," Daily Mail reports

The study is published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

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