The Genetics of Pediatric Obesity

The Genetics of Pediatric Obesity

Obesity among children and adults has notably escalated over recent decades and represents a global major health problem.

We now know that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to its complex etiology. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed compelling genetic signals influencing obesity risk in adults.

Recent reports for childhood obesity revealed that many adult loci also play a role in the pediatric setting. Childhood GWAS have uncovered novel loci below the detection range in adult studies, suggesting that obesity genes may be more easily uncovered in the pediatric setting.

Shedding light on the genetic architecture of childhood obesity will facilitate the prevention and treatment of pediatric cases, and will have fundamental implications for diseases that present later in life.