Published on May 11, 2007 in Science volume 316(5826).
PubMed ID: 17434869
Obesity is a serious international health problem that increases the risk of severalcommon diseases. The genetic factors predisposing to obesity are poorly understood.A genome-wide search for type 2 diabetes-susceptibility genes identified a commonvariant in the FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) gene that predisposes todiabetes through an effect on body mass index (BMI). An additive association of thevariant with BMI was replicated in 13 cohorts with 38,759 participants. The 16% ofadults who are homozygous for the risk allele weighed about 3 kilograms more and had1.67-fold increased odds of obesity when compared with those not inheriting a riskallele. This association was observed from age 7 years upward and reflects aspecific increase in fat mass.