Obesity and its associated comorbidities represent one of the biggest public health
challenges facing the world today. The heritability of body weight is high, and
genetic variation plays a major role in determining the interindividual differences
in susceptibility or resistance to the obesogenic environment. Here we discuss how
genetic studies in humans have contributed to our understanding of the central
pathways that govern energy homeostasis. We discuss how the arrival of technological
advances such as next-generation sequencing will result in a major acceleration in
the pace of gene discovery. The study of patients harboring these genetic variants
has informed our understanding of the molecular and physiological pathways involved
in energy homeostasis. We anticipate that future studies will provide the framework
for the development of a more rational targeted approach to the prevention and
treatment of genetically susceptible individuals.
Shwetha Ramachandrappa, I. Sadaf Farooqi
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