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Getting Tested for Obesity Genes May Boost Mental Health

Update Date: Sep 30, 2013 04:32 PM EDT

Getting tested for obesity genes may provide psychological benefits, a new study suggests.

New research reveals that obesity gene testing might offer psychological benefits beyond their clinical value, according to HealthDay.

Researchers from the University College London interviewed 18 volunteers and analyzed psychological and behavioral reactions to results from genetic testing for weight-related genes.

The study revealed that participants saw the gene test result as scientifically objective, which eliminated some of the emotion attached to the issue of weight control.

Some participants struggling with weight control also reported relief from self-blame.

All participants highlighted the importance of lifestyle choices in long-term weight management. However, they acknowledged the role of both genes and environment for their weight gain.

Researchers noted that the study found no evidence for either complacency or fatalism in responses.

All participants perceived the gene testing positively and found it motivating and informative.

"As the role of genetic counselors is likely to expand, awareness of reasons for genetic testing for common, complex conditions and reactions to the test result is important," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings are published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling

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