Interaction of genes and environment influences obesity in children

(Medical Xpress)—Neither genes nor the environment alone can predict obesity in children, but when considered together a strong relationship emerges, according to researchers at Penn State, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The researchers found that children who have a genetic variant that makes them less sensitive to the taste of certain bitter compounds, also called "non-tasters," were significantly more likely to be obese than children who were "tasters" of these compounds—but only when they lived in an unhealthy food environment.

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