Taiwanese study assesses exercise impact with five measures of obesity.

If you are genetically prone to obesity there is one type of exercise that could be of special help. It’s jogging. And if that’s not your thing, yoga comes in a close second.

These are the findings of a study of more than 18,000 Han Chinese, led by Wan-Yu Lin of the Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan.

It’s an irksome statistic for people trying to lose weight, but body mass index (BMI) – that’s your weight in kilos divided by height in metres squared – is to a large extent inherited. Up to 81% of the variation in BMI between folk is explained by their lineage.

That means obese people, who have a BMI of 30 or more, can thank their genes for a good part of their predicament.

But as the biology mantra runs, both nature and nurture figure in the final outcome, and exercise has already been shown to limit the genetic effect on BMI.

Good news. But, as Lin and colleagues point out, there are a range of other obesity measures that are as important, or even more so, than BMI as a predictor of illness.

Read the full article in Cosmos magazine here