The junk food gene: DNA flaw means two-thirds of us can't stop eating

Slimmer souls have always maintained that a sweet tooth can be banished with a big helping of will-power.

But perhaps those who always succumb to the lure of the biscuit tin and the creamcake shop shouldn't feel so guilty about their weakness.

The ability to resist or otherwise, it seems, may be built into your DNA.

Researchers say that almost two-thirds of us carry 'junk food genes' making us crave fatty and sugary foods.

Those with this genetic flaw eat 100 calories more per meal - the equivalent of a small Kit Kat or a bag of Wotsits.

It may not sound much, but over a week, this amounts to an extra 2,100 calories - an entire day's food.

The research helps explain why some men and women find it hard to resist fast food, and why some diets are doomed to fail.

But it may also lead to ways of treating obesity, which blights the lives of almost a quarter of us.

The scientists, from Dundee University, pinned down the effect of a rogue version of a gene called FTO, they explained in the respected New England Journal of Medicine.

The flaw, carried by almost twothirds of Britons, was first linked to obesity last year.
Up to 14 per cent of Britons carry two rogue copies of the gene, increasing their risk of obesity by 70 per cent and diabetes by 50 per cent. These people are on average almost half a stone heavier.