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Nutrition. 2014 Feb;30(2):145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.05.030. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Melanocortin-4 receptor polymorphism rs17782313: association with obesity and eating in the absence of hunger in Chilean children.

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Department of Nutrition, Diabetes and Metabolism, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Laboratorio de Investigación en Obesidad y Diabetes, Unidad Académica de Ciencias Químico Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Chilpancingo, México.
Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Nutrition, Diabetes and Metabolism, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Electronic address:



The aim of this study was to assess the association between melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) rs17782313 alleles with obesity and eating behavior scores in Chilean children.


A case-control study was conducted with 139 normal-weight and 238 obese children (ages 6-12 y). MC4R rs17782313 genotypes were determined by quantitative-polymerase chain reaction allelic-discrimination assays. Eating behavior scores were evaluated in a subset of participants using the Chilean version of the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). Additionally, five normal-weight C-allele carriers of rs17782313 were matched by sex, age, and body mass index (BMI) to five TT homozygous children to carry out the Eating in the Absence of Hunger (EAH) test.


The frequency of the C-allele of MC4R rs17782313 was higher in the obese group than in the control group, without achieving statistical significance (odds ratio, 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 0.8-2.4; P = 0.16). CEBQ scores of "enjoyment of food" were higher (P = 0.04) and "satiety responsiveness" were lower (P = 0.02) in children with CC genotype than in those with TT genotype matched by sex, age, and BMI. In the EAH test, all five non-obese carriers of the C-allele (three CC and two CT) showed increased sweet snack consumption compared with five matched (by sex-age-BMI) non-carriers after a preload meal, without achieving statistical significance (P = 0.06).


MC4R polymorphism rs17782313 may contribute to childhood obesity, affecting enjoyment of food, satiety responsiveness, and possibly eating in the absence of hunger.


Childhood obesity; Eating behavior; MCR4

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