HealthDay News — Patients with the FTO gene respond to weight-loss strategies as well as those without the gene, according to research published online September 20 in The BMJ.

The researchers analyzed 8 trials involving 9563 people to investigate the link between the FTO gene and weight-loss strategies.

When the study began, those who carried the FTO gene were about 2 lb heavier than those without the gene. There was no association, however, between the FTO gene and participants’ ability to lose weight. That was true regardless of the study participants’ age and gender, the weight-loss strategy they used, how long they followed it, and other variables, the researchers found.

“These findings show that individuals carrying the minor allele respond equally well to dietary, physical activity, or drug based weight-loss interventions and thus genetic predisposition to obesity associated with the FTO minor allele can be at least partly counteracted through such interventions,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant competing interests.


  1. Livingstone KM, Celis-Morales C, Papandonatos GD, et al. FTO Genotype and Weight Loss: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 9563 Individual Participant Data From Eight Randomised Controlled Trials. BMJ. 2016;354. doi:10.1136/bmj.i4707.