Kids' Genetic Risk for Obesity Rises With Age, Study Finds04/24/14
THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As children get
older, genes appear to play an increasing role in whether some kids
become heavier than their peers, a new study indicates.
Researchers looked at 2,556 pairs of twins in England and Wales
when they were aged 4 and 10. The investigators focused on 28
genetic variants known to be associated with obesity risk.
The study also looked at each child's body-mass index (BMI),
which is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight, at
The results indicated that the influence of the genetic variants
rose over the years. In other words, genes appear to be responsible
for 43 percent of the difference in size among kids at age 4, but
82 percent of the difference in size among kids at age 10, the
study authors pointed out.
The findings, published in the current issue of the journal
Obesity, confirm results from previous studies, according to
"Our results demonstrate that genetic predisposition to obesity is increasingly expressed throughout childhood," study co-leader Dr. Clare Llewellyn, of the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London, said in a university news release.
"This underlines the importance of intervening at an early age to try to counteract these genetic effects and reduce childhood obesity," she added.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more about
keeping children at a healthy weight.
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