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You generally hear one of two contradictory narratives about weight loss. The first is that your weight is simply the result of how much you eat and how much you exercise, but the second is that some people's bodies pack on weight much more easily than others, making weight loss a much more difficult goal.

Now, new research appears to strongly support that second hypothesis. An international team of researchers has come out with a new study, published in the journal Med, that details how a mutation of a gene called SMIM1 has a significant link to extra weight gain due to its impact on the function of the thyroid.

The scientists examined data from the UK Biobank, representing half a million British residents and various lifestyle and biological information, and compared subjects with the functional SMIM1 and those with the faulty, mutated version.

They found through statistical and biological analysis that people with the genetic mutation of SMIM1 exhibited features such as extra weight gain, high cholesterol, high amount of liver enzymes, and other signs associated with being overweight.

Faulty SMIM1 also reduced the thyroid's ability to regulate metabolism and hence impeded their capability to burn energy.

Basically, even if these people eat the same food as other people with normal SMIM1, they burn fewer calories and are more susceptible to carrying more weight.

"Obesity’s causes are very complex and in the majority of cases, the combination of many factors," University of Exeter associate professor in cellular biology and study lead author Mattia Frontini told CNN. "In this study, however, we found a clear genetic trigger for obesity."

Also, unfortunately for women who have the faulty gene, they carry on average an extra 10.14 pounds, compared to men who carry only an extra 5.29 pounds on average.

Frontini told CNN that this genetic variation is rare — one out of 5,000 people is estimated to have it — and that obesity's "root cause is an energy expenditure imbalance, owing to an interplay of lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors," reads the study.

But there are still a lot of unknowns lurking in the DNA soup of humanity. How many other genes that can be linked to obesity are out there?

Still, it's an intriguing area of research — and just might lead to potential new weight loss treatments at a moment when enthusiasm for semaglutide is reaching a fever pitch.

More on obesity: Half of America May Be Obese by 2030. Here's Why That Matters for Society

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