Consuming fish, especially fatty fish, may reduce weight gain in people genetically predisposed to obesity, according to an observational study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers examined decades-long correlations between genes, diet, and weight in more than 24,000 middle-aged participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and the Women’s Health Initiative, using 77 genetic variants linked to body weight. In people with higher genetic susceptibility to obesity, high fish intake was associated with reduced weight gain compared to low intake. Fish eaters tended to have healthier lifestyles (for instance, better overall diets, less smoking, more exercise), but the results remained significant after the researchers controlled for such factors.
Omega-3s from fish oil supplements taken by participants were not included in the analysis. Some previous research has also suggested that fish may interact with obesity-related genes and is associated with reduced body weight, the researchers wrote.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Healthy Diet Counters Obesity Genes.