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Metabolic Thrift and the Genetic Basis of Human Obesity

O'Rourke, Robert W. MD

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000000361
Review

Evolution has molded metabolic thrift within humans, a genetic heritage that, when thrust into our modern “obesogenic” environment, creates the current obesity crisis. Modern genetic analysis has identified genetic and epigenetic contributors to obesity, an understanding of which will guide the development of environmental, pharmacologic, and genetic therapeutic interventions.

Evolution has molded metabolic thrift within humans, a genetic heritage that, when thrust into our modern “obesogenic” environment, creates the current obesity crisis. Modern genetic analysis has identified genetic and epigenetic contributors to obesity, an understanding of which will guide the development of environmental, pharmacologic, and genetic therapeutic interventions.

From the Department of Surgery, University of Michigan and Ann Arbor VA Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI.

Reprints: Robert W. O'Rourke, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, 2920 Taubman Center 5331, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: rorourke@med.umich.edu.

Disclosure: The author was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants K08DK074397, R03DK095050, and R01DK097449. There are no potential conflicts of interest, other than the funding listed earlier.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.