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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Oct;94(4):1138-43. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.015461. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Shared genetic contributions of fruit and vegetable consumption with BMI in families 20 y after sharing a household.

Author information

1
Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA. lisa.martin@cchmc.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Obesity has a strong genetic basis, but the identification of genetic variants has not resulted in improved clinical care. However, phenotypes that influence weight, such as diet, may have shared underpinnings with obesity. Interestingly, diet also has a genetic basis. Thus, we hypothesized that the genetic underpinnings of diet may partially overlap with the genetics of obesity.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to determine whether dietary intake and BMI share heritable components in adulthood.

DESIGN:

We used a cross-sectional cohort of parents and adult offspring (n = 1410) from the Princeton Follow-up Study. Participants completed Block food-frequency questionnaires 15-27 y after sharing a household. Heritability of dietary intakes was estimated by using variance components analysis. Bivariate genetic analyses were used to estimate the shared effects between BMI and heritable dietary intakes.

RESULTS:

Fruit, vegetable, and protein consumption exhibited moderate heritability [(mean ± SE) 0.26 ± 0.06, 0.32 ± 0.06, and 0.21 ± 0.06, respectively; P < 0.001], but other dietary intakes were modest (h(2) < 0.2). Only fruit and vegetable consumption exhibited genetic correlations with BMI (ρ(g) = -0.28 ± 0.13 and -0.30 ± 0.13, respectively; P < 0.05). Phenotypic correlations with BMI were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

We showed that fruit, vegetable, and protein intakes are moderately heritable and that fruit and vegetable consumption shares underlying genetic effects with BMI in adulthood, which suggests that individuals genetically predisposed to low fruit and vegetable consumption may be predisposed to higher BMI. Thus, obese individuals who have low fruit and vegetable consumption may require targeted interventions that go beyond low-calorie, plant-based programs for weight management.

PMID:
21831991
PMCID:
PMC3173028
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.111.015461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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