This lean is mean

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

Out­liers is sure you know one. They never have to diet, they eat as much or more than you, and yet they stay skinny with lit­tle ef­fort. Now re­searchers have found what gives them an edge.

A study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Phys­i­ol­ogy-En­docrinol­ogy and Me­tab­o­lism finds that those lucky people ge­net­i­cally have “poor fuel econ­omy,” mean­ing they burn more calo­ries while ex­er­cis­ing than people who have “fat” genes.

“This has im­pli­ca­tions for how we con­sider me­tab­o­lism when at­tempt­ing to pre­vent or treat obe­sity,” said the re­search team led by Chai­tanya K. Gavini of the School of Bio­med­i­cal Sci­ences at Kent State Univer­sity. “Tar­get­ing path­ways max­i­miz­ing skele­tal mus­cle en­ergy use dur­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity may take ad­van­tage of al­ready ex­ist­ing mech­a­nisms that are en­doge­nously em­ployed to a greater ex­tent in nat­u­rally lean people.”

In a study of rats that all had sim­i­lar weight and lean body mass, those with stronger aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity were more ac­tive. But the kicker was, while both types of rats burned the same amount of calo­ries while at rest, those with the “skinny” genes ex­pended a lot more en­ergy (and calo­ries) dur­ing mild ex­er­cise.

GETTY IM­AGES

Why is this woman smil­ing? She’s burn­ing more calo­ries than over­weight

folks do­ing the same ex­er­cises.

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