Reasons for the Prevalence of Childhood Obesity: Genetic Predisposition and Environmental InfluencesLiu, Gilbert C. MD, MS*; Hannon, Tamara S. MD†Author Information *Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Health Services Research, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana; and the †Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with or financial interests in any commercial company that pertains to this educational activity. Reprints: Tamara S. Hannon, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3705 Fifth Avenue at De Soto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3417. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Chief Editor’s Note: This article is the 5th of 36 that will be published in 2005 for which a total of up to 36 Category 1 CME credits can be earned. Instructions for how credits can be earned precede the CME Examination at the back of this issue. The Endocrinologist: January/February 2005 - Volume 15 - Issue 1 - pp 49-55 Buy Abstract 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. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.