Childhood overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions worldwide, and the increase in weightassociated co-morbidities including premature type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease will soon become major healthcare and economic problems. A number of studies now indicate that the childhood obesity epidemic which has emerged during the past 30 years is a complex multi-factorial disease resulting from interaction of susceptibility genes with an obesogenic environment. This review will focus on gene-diet interactions suspected of having a prominent role in promoting childhood obesity. In particular, the specific genes that will be presented (FTO, MC4R, and NPC1) have recently been associated with childhood obesity through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and were shown to interact with nutritional components to increase weight gain. Although a fourth gene (APOA2) has not yet been associated with childhood obesity, this review will also present information on what now represents the best characterized gene-diet interaction in promoting weight gain.
Keywords: Adolescent, childhood, gene-diet, high-fat, nutrition, obesity, overweight, hypertrophy, hepatic steatosis, plasma dyslipidemia
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport