NIH-supported researchers have identified locations at two genes, which, when mutated, appear to increase the likelihood of common childhood obesity. The findings are from a large meta analysis of studies previously conducted in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Earlier studies have identified genes associated with obesity in extremely obese youth and in adults, but the current study is the first to identify two genes associated with the less severe, more common form of obesity. Although environmental factors such as diet and exercise play a strong role in common childhood obesity, the current study shows that genetic factors also contribute to the condition.
The audio news briefing featured Struan Grant, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Karen Winer, a program director in the NICHD’s Endocrinology, Nutrition and Growth Branch.
An audio recording of the briefing is available at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/Documents/Obesity-Gene-Briefing.mp3 (MP3 - 1.9 MB), and a transcript of the recording is available at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/resources/links/Pages/transcript040912-obesitygenes.aspx.
About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.