Obesity gene may influence appetite in children

July 29, 2008

A gene linked to obesity may also have a hand in influencing appetite in children, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

A gene linked to obesity may also have a hand in influencing appetite in children, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Investigators in the UK studied 3,337 children ages 8 to 11 by assessing their eating habits and genotyping the FTO gene, which has been linked to obesity in previous research. In the present study, the research team found that one copy of the gene variant was linked to a greater risk of obesity.

The researchers also found that children carrying both versions of the gene variant found it harder to tell when they were full, as evidenced by a statistically significant lower score on reduced Satiety Responsiveness scale.

The findings suggest that people who carry the FTO gene may be more susceptible to overeating, in addition to having a greater risk for obesity.