Common variants near BDNF and SH2B1 show nominal evidence of association with snacking behavior in European populations
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We investigated the effect of 24 obesity-predisposing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), separately and in combination, on snacking behavior in three European populations. The 24 SNPs were genotyped in 7,502 subjects (1,868 snackers and 5,634 non-snackers). We tested the hypothesis that obesity risk variants or a genetic risk score increases snacking using a logistic regression adjusted for sex, age, and body mass index. The obesity genetic risk score was not associated with snacking (odds ratio (OR) = 1.00 [0.98–1.02], P value = 0.48). The obesity risk variants of two SNPs (rs925946 and rs7498665) close to the BDNF and SH2B1 genes showed nominal evidence of association with increased snacking (OR = 1.09 [1.01–1.17], P value = 0.0348 and OR = 1.11 [1.04–1.19], P value = 0.00703, respectively) but did not survive Bonferroni corrections for multiple testing. The associations of rs925946 and rs7498665 obesity risk variants with increased BMI (β = 0.180 [0.022–0.339], P value = 0.0258 and β = 0.166 [0.019–0.313], P value = 0.0271, respectively) were slightly attenuated after adjusting for snacking (β = 0.151 [−0.006 to 0.309], P value = 0.0591 and β = 0.152 [0.006–0.297], P value = 0.0413). Our data suggest that genetic predisposition to obesity does not significantly contribute to snacking behavior. The nominal associations of rs925946 and rs7498665 obesity risk variants near the BDNF and SH2B1 genes with increased snacking deserve further investigation.