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Wednesday 17th January 2018

Appetite affected by obesity gene

28th July 2008

A research team in London has said that children who carry the FTO gene find it more difficult than other children to know when they have eaten enough.


The research team, from University College London and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, investigated how the gene functioned.

They carried out a study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. where they looked at 3,000 children to discover if the FTO gene affected a child's calorie-burning capacity or their appetite.

The team carried out tests to find out if child participants, aged eight to 11, who had the high risk gene type showed different kinds of appetite. They measured children and asked parents to fill in a questionnaire.

The team discovered that children who had "copies of the gene's risky variant" showed less likelihood of knowing when they had eaten enough.

FTO has been previously identified as having a link with obesity in Caucasians. Studies have revealed that people who have two copies of the "higher risk" type of FTO weighed around half a stone more than people who did not carry the gene.

Lead researcher Professor Jane Wardle said: "It is not simply the case that people who carry the risky variant of this gene automatically become overweight, but they are more susceptible to overeating.

"This makes them significantly more vulnerable to the modern environment which confronts all of us with large portion sizes and limitless opportunities to eat."


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