More than 50% of the world’s population is believed to have a genetic predisposition towards overweight or obesity, according to a new report from the US National Institutes of Health.
A survey of almost 600,000 people in the US found that more than 50 per cent of the population has at least some type of obesity, and one in three people has an unhealthy weight.
The report, published on Tuesday, also found that nearly two-thirds of Americans have some type.
Researchers also found a link between genetics and type 2 diabetes.
There are currently around 40,000 cases of type 2 diabetics worldwide, which are thought to be linked to a lack of genetic factors that affect the body’s ability to fight off the disease, such as insulin resistance, low levels of antioxidants and inflammation.
Dr Caroline Cosser, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said the findings were a major step forward.
“The study adds to the growing body of research showing that obesity and metabolic syndrome are linked,” she said.
The new findings are the first to show that people who have an unhealthy BMI are also more likely to have an abnormal glucose metabolism.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that is needed to control blood sugar.
Obesity and metabolic disorder are linked in some way, but obesity and type2 diabetes are often considered separate conditions.
About two-fifths of Americans are overweight or obese, according the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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