Chapter 2. The Genetics of Human Obesity

  1. Anthony H. Barnett3,4,5 and
  2. Sudhesh Kumar6
  1. Victor J. Lawrence Consultant Physician1 and
  2. Tahseen A. Chowdhury Consultant Physician2

Published Online: 24 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470741474.ch2

Obesity and Diabetes, Second Edition

Obesity and Diabetes, Second Edition

How to Cite

Lawrence, V. J. and Chowdhury, T. A. (2009) The Genetics of Human Obesity, in Obesity and Diabetes, Second Edition (eds A. H. Barnett and S. Kumar), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470741474.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK

  2. 4

    Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust, UK

  3. 5

    Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Undergraduate Centre, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham, B9 5SS, UK

  4. 6

    Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, St Mary's Hospital, Parkhurst Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5TG UK

  2. 2

    Department of Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Metabolic Medicine, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 20 MAR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470519813

Online ISBN: 9780470741474



  • genetics of human obesity;
  • genetic basis for obesity and what kind of effect (phenotype);
  • elevated body mass index (BMI);
  • effects of putative genes on basic ‘intermediary’ biological measures as resting metabolic rate (RMR);
  • uncoupling protein (UCPs);
  • obesity genetics - identifying gene defect in obese patients and functional variants;
  • candidate gene approach - presence of mutations in responsible ‘candidate gene’;
  • genomic area of interest ‘fine mapped’ using techniques - as linkage disequilibrium (LD);
  • monogenic form of obesity - commonest single gene disorder described


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Why has the genetics of obesity been difficult to study?

  • How much of obesity is genetic?

  • Is there a major gene for obesity?

  • How to identify obesity genes

  • Summary and conclusions

  • References