Diet, genes, and obesity: Genetic predisposition to obesity is no barrier to successful weight management

Louisa Ells, Alessandro Demaio, Nathalie Farpour-Lambert

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Genetic predisposition to obesity is no barrier to successful weight management Globally, the prevalence of obesity has tripled since 1975, with 671 million adults and 124 million young people (5-19 years) estimated to be affected in 2016.1 Given the serious associated health and economic consequences of obesity,234 finding effective weight management strategies is both a national and a global priority.56 Although behavioural interventions that improve dietary intake and increase physical activity can be effective in reducing body weight in adults, long term efficacy is often limited,78 and it can be tempting to attribute failure to a genetic predisposition. Such discussions risk promoting a perception that policies and interventions to tackle obesity are futile, leading to loss of commitment and associated resources. Family, twin, and adoption studies show a moderate to high heritability for obesity,9 but monogenic causes of obesity are rare. Genetic predisposition in most people is polygenic. Important analyses of environment-gene interactions clearly show the detrimental effect of our obesogenic environment.910 The linked …
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberk7
    Number of pages2
    JournalBMJ (Online)
    Volume360
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018

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