Overeating has bigger consequences in families with a history of type 2 diabetes

Australian researchers have revealed that healthy people who are genetically predisposed for type 2 diabetes gain more weight when they overeat.

A month-long study conducted at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney examined 17 healthy individuals who had a family history of the disease. The scientists used a control group of 24 people without any diabetic relatives. The participants were matched for age, weight and lifestyle.

Each person ate 1,250 calories more than what they required each day for 28 days. They consumed high-fat snacks such as potato chips, desserts and chocolate bars in addition to what they normally ate. The researchers measured their weight, blood insulin levels and fat distribution at the beginning, middle and end of the study.

They found that people with a family history of diabetes gained an average of over seven pounds more than the control group. They also had much higher levels of insulin circulating in their bodies before any weight gain was detected.

"Our study shows just how quickly the body reacts to overeating, and how harmful it can be in susceptible people," said lead researcher Lesley Campbell, who published the findings in Diabetologia. "While we expected differences between the two groups, we were surprised by the amount of extra weight that the diabetes-prone group gained."
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