Scientists have linked the ‘fat gene’ with the ‘happy gene’. Strictly star Lisa Riley has recently said she is a ‘big, really happy girl who is lucky enough to be confident in her own skin’    
The word ‘jolly’ has long been a byword word for ‘plump’ – hijacked by experts in the back handed compliment.

But scientists believe there could be genetic evidence which explains why fat people are often happier than their skinny friends.

It comes after Strictly favourite Lisa Riley has been flying the flag for larger women insisting she is a ‘big, happy girl’, more than comfortable with her size.

The breakthrough could be an explanation for why obese characters, such as The Laughing Policeman and Father Christmas, are often portrayed as jovial and kindly

Scientists from McMaster University in Canada found the so called ‘fat gene’ FTO is also a ‘happy gene’ too.

FTO is the major genetic contributor to obesity.

But it is also associated with an eight per cent reduction in the risk of depression.

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada had been investigating whether there was a link between obesity and depression.

But when they investigated the genetic and psychiatric status of patients enrolled in the EpiDREAM study, led by the Population Health Research Institute, they found the opposite was true.

The study analysed 17,200 DNA samples from participants in 21 countries.

Results showed those with the the previously identified FTO gene – the fat gene -showed significantly less signs of depression.

The study finding was confirmed by analysing the genetic status of patients in three additional international studies.

Professor David Meyre, of McMaster University in Canada, said: ‘We set out to follow a different path, starting from the hypothesis that both depression and obesity deal with brain activity.

‘We hypothesised that obesity genes may be linked to depression.

‘The difference of eight per cent is modest and it won’t make a big difference in the day-to-day care of patients.

‘But, we have discovered a novel molecular basis for depression.

‘It is the first evidence that an FTO obesity gene is associated with protection against major depression, independent of its effect on body mass index.’

In a recent interview Strictly favourite Lisa Riley said she was more than comfortable with her size.

She said she is ‘a big, really happy girl who is lucky enough to be confident in her own skin’, and added: ‘Many would give their left arm to be thinner. Not me’

She added: ‘I genuinely love being different and it drives me mad that people don’t believe I’m happy as I am.

‘Why do I want to look like everyone else? But I know people think: “She says that, but she doesn’t mean it, she’s very sad really".’
SOURCE: Daily Mail

This site contains materials from other clearly stated media sources for the purpose of discussion stimulation and content enrichment among our members only. does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact