Genetic Studies of Obesity across the Life Span
Obesity and correlated aspects of body fat distribution and patterning are established risk factors for several adult clinical disorders, including non-insulindependent diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and some cancers (Van Ittallie & Abraham, 1985; Barrett-Connor, 1985; Bray, 1985; Baumgartner, Roche, Chumlea, Siervogel, & Glueck, 1987; Blair, Habicht, Sims, Sylvester, & Abraham, 1984; Donahue, Abbot, Bloom, Reed, & Katsuhiko-Yano, 1987). Understanding the etiology of obesity is a necessary prerequisite for strategies aimed at reducing, and consequently ameliorating the effects of, excess weight. It has proven difficult, however, to obtain a thorough understanding of this etiology. The etiology is undoubtedly complex, and there is unlikely a single metabolic or behavioral explanation of individual differences in adiposity. Instead, the current evidence suggests that obesity is a consequence of both inherited (genetic) and acquired (environmental) aspects of caloric intake and energy expenditure. These factors most likely differ in their importance over an individual’s lifetime.
KeywordsGenetic Influence Weight Class Adoptive Parent Adoption Study Twin Data
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Cardon, L. R. (1983). Height, weight, and obesity. In R. Plomin, J. C. DeFries, and D. W. Fulker (Eds.), Nature and nurture druing middle childhood (pp. 165–172 ). London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Donahue, R., Abbot, P., Bloom, R., Reed, E., and Katsuhiko-Yano, D. M. (1987). Central obesity and coronary heart disease in men. Lancet, 1 (8537), 821–824.Google Scholar
- Hunt, S. C., Hasstedt, S. J., Kuida, H., Stults, B. M., Hopkins, P. N., and Williams, R. R. (1989). Genetic heritability and common environmental components of resting and stressed blood pressures, lipids, and body mass index in Utah pedigrees and twins. American Journal of Epidemiology, 129, 625–638.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Melbin, T., and Vuille, J.-C. (1976). Weight gain in infancy and physical development between 7 and 101/2 years of age. British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 30, 233–238.Google Scholar
- Neale, M. C., and Cardon, L. R. (1992). Methodology for genetic studies of twins and families. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Price, R. A., Ness, R., and Laskarzewski, P. (1989). Common major gene inheritance of extreme overweight. Human Biology, 62, 747–765.Google Scholar
- Province, M. A., Arnqvist, P., Keller, J., Higgins, M,. and Rao, D. C. (1990). Strong evidence for a major gene for obesity in the large, unselected, total Community Health Study of Tecumseh. American Journal of Human Genetics, 47(Supplement), A143.Google Scholar
- Ramirez, M. E. (1993). Familial aggregation of subcutaneous fat deposits and the peripheral fat distribution pattern. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, l7, 63–68.Google Scholar
- Wang, Z., Ouyang, Z., Wang, D., and Tang, X. (1990). Heritability of blood pressure in 7- to 12-yearold Chinese twins, with special reference to body size effects. Genetic Epidemiology, 7, 447452.Google Scholar