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Prev Chronic Dis. 2007 Apr;4(2):A31. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Addressing the obesity epidemic: a genomics perspective.

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Oregon Genetics Program, Oregon Department of Human Services, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA.


Genomics is the study of the entire human genome and involves not only studying the actions of single genes but also the interactions of multiple genes with each other and with the environment. This article emphasizes the multifactorial nature of common obesity, which is caused by the interaction of genes, environment, and lifestyle. Individual variation in genes that influence behavior, satiety, and taste suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to reducing or preventing obesity may be ineffective. Data are not yet available to allow for personalized obesity interventions based on genetic predisposition. However, a genomics approach may provide a useful framework for addressing the obesity epidemic. More research is needed before specific targeted public health interventions that include genomic strategies can be effectively integrated into addressing obesity in public health practice.

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