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  • Anke Huels

Childhood Environment, Genetics & Obesity

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

Our study showed significant interactions between the polygenic risk for an increased BMI and sociodemographic and behavioral factors that affect BMI as well as waist circumference. Among children with a high genetic risk, we identified children from Southern Europe, children from families with a low level of education, children with a low dietary fiber intake and children who spend more time in front of screens as being particularly susceptible to obesity. These results provide evidence that the risk for obesity among children with a high genetic susceptibility varies by environmental and sociodemographic factors during childhood. This has important implications for future public health prevention efforts, because it suggests that children at a high genetic risk may benefit even more from prevention measures than children with a low genetic risk.

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