Genetic risk for obesity grew stronger in 'obesogenic' environment

Lending support to the idea that high-calorie diets, sedentariness and other aspects of the contemporary American lifestyle may be driving the obesity epidemic, UC San Francisco researchers have found that people who carry greater genetic risk for obesity were more likely to have a higher body mass index if they were born later in the 20th century.

The study, published Tuesday, July 5 in JAMA, looked at 7,482 white and 1,306 black participants in the U.S. nationwide Health and Retirement Study who were born between 1900 and 1958. Researchers calculated a genetic risk score for each participant, based on whether they had any of 29 genetic variants that are associated with obesity, and looked to see how this score compared with their BMI.
The number of variants each person had did not increase in the population over time, while their effects on people did, pointing to environmental influences. 




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