Genetics of Energy and Macronutrient Intake in Humans
Food intake is an important determinant of health in humans. Family studies have shown that energy and macronutrient intake is a heritable trait. Several genome-wide scans and candidate gene association studies have been conducted to identify the important genes in human feeding behavior. Many studies focus on obesity genes that are involved in energy homeostasis and expressed in the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus, such as fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) and melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). Most recently, common variants near the fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) gene were identified in genome-wide association studies of macronutrient intake. In this review, the results from genetic studies of energy and macronutrient intake will be discussed.