Researchers in the US claim they have discovered the genes responsible for storing fat in cells.
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in New York, identified the FIT1 and FIT2 (Fat-Inducing Transcripts 1 and 2) genes that package fat in the form of lipid droplets.
Scientists say that storing fat in lipid droplets is important for enabling cells to use fat as an energy source, but having high amounts of these droplets leads to obesity.
“This new research could help us get closer to unravelling the genetics of obesity," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK.
“Obesity is a major cause of Type 2 diabetes, with around 300 people diagnosed with the condition every day. The discovery of genes that influence the development of obesity could help us understand why some people gain weight more than others.
"These findings could open up a wealth of new avenues to understand and treat obesity and obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.
“Diabetes UK welcomes further research as this study is still in its very early stages.”
The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.