Roland L. Weinsier, MD, DrPH
Weinsier RL. Genes and Obesity: Is There Reason To Change Our Behaviors?. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130:938-939. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-130-11-199906010-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(11):938-939.
Several major factors—energy requirements, nutrient partitioning, dietary intake, and physical activity—interact to contribute to the development of obesity. Each factor is influenced by our genotypes. For example, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies show familial resemblance in adiposity, and adoption and twin studies offer clear evidence of a genetic component in human obesity (1-3). It is estimated that 40% to 70% of the within-population variation in obesity is heritable (4). Unfortunately, readers too often mistakenly interpret such reports of high heritability estimates as an indication that genes play a deterministic role in causing obesity, independent of the environment and of behaviors. In contrast, behavioral geneticists have provided mathematical expressions indicating the important role of environmental and behavioral factors in determining body weight despite the fairly high heritability of relative body weight (5).
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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