Is there really a fat gene?

The VITL Nutrition Team

Ever noticed that some people manage to stay thin and others gain weight easily, but appear to have similar eating habits? Got a friend that can eat what they want but remains slim? Recent research has been looking into just that.


Following the processing of 2,000 DNA samples, research at Cambridge University has revealed that variation in body weight is largely influenced by our genes. They found several common genetic variants that are already known to contribute to obesity. They also found new genetic regions involved in severe obesity, and some associated with healthy thinness. Thin individuals were shown to be at less genetic risk of gaining weight!


The fat gene (otherwise known as the FTO gene) has been shown to contribute to the regulation of our appetite and speed of our metabolism.

And, would you believe it, everyone has the fat gene! But the extent to which it is likely to affect your weight depends on what variant you have of the gene. 

But fear not, your genetic predisposition doesn’t mean you’re doomed to put on weight, the great thing about our genes is that we aren’t completely tied to them, and in fact you can help yourself by effectively managing your lifestyle and diet

But it’s good to know what you’re dealing with.

How can I find out what variant I have?

Easy! With a Vitl DNA test you can access insights into your genetics like never before, here’s how it works:

  • Receive your at-home DNA testing kit through your letterbox
  • Provide a simple saliva sample with the Vitl swab
  • Pop your labelled sample into the prepaid postage bag
  • Sit tight and let our lab do the work!

Not only will you discover your FTO gene variant, but also over 40 other genetic traits including: alcohol sensitivity, digestion & IBS, metabolic rate, caffeine metabolism, and absorption of key nutrients!