Obesity Resource Center
Even though lifestyle factors are most associated with the prevalence of obesity, it’s important to know that several genetic predispositions may also exist. After all, there are many people who engage in little physical activity, as well as many who tend to overeat but are still unlikely to become obese during their lifetime.
Recent research has been able to compare obese individuals to non-obese individuals with respect to lifestyle and eating habits. They conclude that genetic variations may be responsible for prompting diet-related behaviors and/or increasing hunger sensitivity.
Research is still ongoing, however, some have found that 40-70 percent of obesity risk factors could be linked to multiple genes. Those predisposed to such genes often begin to show symptoms of excessive weight gain in early childhood.
One gene in particular, called the Fat Mass and Obesity-Associated Gene (FTO) is found in up to 43 percent of the population and can biologically cause:
If you’ve suffered from obesity since early childhood, you can be tested by DocTalkGo for the FTO gene. Keep in mind that treatment is typically similar to medical weight loss with diet modifications and prescription options to assist with behavioral control.
The field of gene research with regards to obesity has expanded within the past few years. Researchers have identified many genes which impact both biochemistry and specific behaviors that may contribute to weight gain.
The genes which regulate obesity play important roles in everything related to energy metabolism from signaling hunger or fullness, breaking down food, and secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters which relate to digestion. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, 40–70% of inter-individual variability in BMI (body mass index), which is a physiological measure used to assess obesity, can be attributed to genetics.
Besides FTO, 18 possible gene mutations of the LEPR gene (which codes for a protein responsible for leptin hormone receptors) can be responsible for a number of obesity-related factors such as, uncontrolled hunger, excess weight gain and decreased satiety.
Some other specific genes where small mutations can cause weight gain tendencies include:
Testing for any of these genetic markers can play a major role in the treatment and prevention of obesity.
SINGLE GENES KNOWN TO BE INVOLVED WITH OBESITY
|NAME||GENE||MIM||MODE of INHERITANCE||CHROMOSOMAL POSITION|
|Melanocortin 4 receptor||MC4R||155541||AD/AR||18q21.32|
|Single-minded Drosophila Homologue-1||SIM1||603128||AD||6q16.3|
|Nurotrophic Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Type 2||NTRK2||600456||AD||9q21.33|
|Kinase suppressor of Ras2||KSR2||610737||AD||12q24.22-q24.23|
|Brain Derived Neurotropic factor||BDNF||113505||AD||11p14.1|
|SH2B adaptor protein||SH2B1||608937||AD||16p11.2|
|Tubby, Homogue of Mouse||TUB||601197||AR||11p15.4|
AD=Autosomal dominant, AR = Autosomal recessive.