MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David Meyre PhD
Associate Professor, McMaster University,
Dept. of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact
Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Visiting Professor, University of Lorraine,
Inserm Nutrition-Genetics-Environmental Risks
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: While the average body mass index has reached a plateau in Western countries such as the United States, extreme forms of obesity are still on the rise. The origins of super obesity are still poorly understood. We studied the effects of 37 well-established obesity genes on body-mass index in 75,230 adults with European ancestry using innovative statistical methods (conditional quantile regression and meta-regression models).
We found that nine of the 37 genes (24%) make individuals gain more weight if they already have a high body mass index. The effect of these genes is amplified by four times, if we compare the 10% of the population at the low end of the body mass index, compared to the 10% at the high end. The plausible explanation is that there are interactions between these snowball obesity genes and risk environmental factors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Some individuals experience uncontrolled and constant weight gain across their life, despite the availability of different therapeutic approaches.
Our study demonstrates that these extreme forms of obesity may have a genetic origin. Our research shows that stigmas and negative attitudes against obese people are unjustified, as their obesity stems in part from individual biological / genetic differences.This study also carries an important message of hope that the carriers of snowball obesity genes, if they are identified in early life and stay in the low end of body mass index through appropriate lifestyle, may minimize the effect of their bad genes.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The next step is to generalize our discoveries in populations with non-European ancestry. More than 270 obesity genes have been recently identified in European, East Asian, South Asian, African, Native North American, South American and Pacific Islander populations, and more snowball obesity genes are likely to be found in the future. We are also developing novel statistical and informatics methods to screen the entire human genome to track-down novel snowball obesity genes. The next steps are to improve the prediction, prevention and care of snowball obesity at the population level.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Penetrance of Polygenic Obesity Susceptibility Loci across the Body Mass Index Distribution
Arkan Abadi, Akram Alyass, Sebastien Robiou du Pont, Ben Bolker
Pardeep Singh, Viswanathan Mohan, Rafael Diaz, James C. Engert
Salim Yusuf, Hertzel C. Gerstein, Sonia S. Anand, David Meyre
101, Issue 6, p925–938, 7 December 2017
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