Estimation of Risk for Child or Adolescent Obesity at Birth

By analyzing data from 4,000 children born in Finland in 1986, researchers created a formula that accurately predicts the likelihood of a baby developing obesity during childhood. Importantly, the predictive accuracy of the models did not decline from childhood to adolescence, suggesting that the association between the traditional risk factors and obesity is stable until early adulthood. When the performance of genetics in predicting early obesity phenotypes was explored, with the largest list of obesity-SNPs ever used, it showed only a very modest predictive accuracy of the assessed genetic variants. Furthermore, including currently known SNPs produces a very little improvement of the prediction when combined with clinical factors. This fact contributes to the growing evidence that common genetic variants are not yet “ready for use” for the prediction of several complex diseases, due to the still small proportion of heritability explained by the newly discovered variants. Another nail in GWAS’s coffin. And the formula?…well, it does not seem very complicated to me. It only  looks at only six factors: Parental BMI, birth weight, maternal gestational weight gain, number of household members, maternal professional category and smoking habits .   Morandi A, Meyre D, Lobbens S, Kleinman K, Kaakinen M, et al. (2012) Estimation of Newborn Risk for Child or Adolescent Obesity: Lessons from Longitudinal Birth Cohorts. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49919. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049919  

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