Reasons for the prevalence of childhood obesity: Genetic predisposition and environmental influences

Gilbert C. Liu, Tamara S. Hannon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


The incidence of childhood obesity is rising such that a significant proportion of children are suffering the consequences of this condition. It is our genetic propensity to store fat for use as energy; yet, in our modern environment, it is difficult to maintain balance between calories eaten and energy expended. To date, countless genetic markers have been linked with obesity and its metabolic consequences, yet we remain unsure of the genotype-phenotype relationships in polygenic obesity. Despite this, scientific discoveries in the field of energy regulation are accumulating, and the incidence of monogenetic mutations associated with obesity phenotypes is increasing. In addition to continued research into the genetic determinants of obesity, multilevel approaches to modifying the environment and supporting healthy lifestyles should be pursued in attempt to decrease the prevalence of obesity in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005



  • Environment
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Pediatrics
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this