Genetic study sheds light on obesity in children

Obesity linked to genes, behaviour and environment. Picture: Getty

Obesity linked to genes, behaviour and environment. Picture: Getty

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SCIENTISTS have discovered genes linked to severe obesity in children.

The researchers, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridgeshire, found extremely overweight children were more likely to be at risk of having sections of their DNA that are linked to the regulation of weight deleted.

They said these findings offered promising targets for the development of new drugs to counter obesity. Genes, behaviour and environment have all been linked to the development of obesity.

Researchers believe that children with severe obesity are more likely to have a strong genetic element that partly explains their weight.

Scientist Dr Eleanor Wheeler said: “We’ve known for a long time that changes to our genes can increase our risk of obesity.”

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