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Obes Rev. 2015 Aug;16(8):666-78. doi: 10.1111/obr.12290. Epub 2015 May 28.

Associations between FTO genotype and total energy and macronutrient intake in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, University of Reading, Reading, UK.
Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Physiology, University of Navarra, CIBER Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Pamplona, Spain.
Department of Human Biology, NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
UCD Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
ZIEL Research Center of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Technische Universität München, München, Germany.
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
National Food and Nutrition Institute (IZZ), Warsaw, Poland.
Microbiology and Systems Biology Group, TNO, Zeist, The Netherlands.
Eurogenetica Ltd, Burnham-on-Sea, UK.


Risk variants of fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with increased obesity. However, the evidence for associations between FTO genotype and macronutrient intake has not been reviewed systematically. Our aim was to evaluate the potential associations between FTO genotype and intakes of total energy, fat, carbohydrate and protein. We undertook a systematic literature search in OVID MEDLINE, Scopus, EMBASE and Cochrane of associations between macronutrient intake and FTO genotype in adults. Beta coefficients and confidence intervals (CIs) were used for per allele comparisons. Random-effect models assessed the pooled effect sizes. We identified 56 eligible studies reporting on 213,173 adults. For each copy of the FTO risk allele, individuals reported 6.46 kcal day(-1) (95% CI: 10.76, 2.16) lower total energy intake (P = 0.003). Total fat (P = 0.028) and protein (P = 0.006), but not carbohydrate intakes, were higher in those carrying the FTO risk allele. After adjustment for body weight, total energy intakes remained significantly lower in individuals with the FTO risk genotype (P = 0.028). The FTO risk allele is associated with a lower reported total energy intake and with altered patterns of macronutrient intake. Although significant, these differences are small and further research is needed to determine whether the associations are independent of dietary misreporting.


FTO; macronutrient intake; meta-analysis; total energy intake

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