Absence of association between specific common variants of the obesity-related FTO gene and psychological and behavioral eating disorder phenotypes


  • How to cite this article: Jonassaint CR, Szatkiewicz JP, Bulik CM, Thornton LM, Bloss C, Berrettini WH, Kaye WH, Bergen AW, Magistretti P, Strober M, Keel PK, Brandt H, Crawford S, Crow S, Fichter MM, Goldman D, Halmi KA, Johnson C, Kaplan AS, Klump KL, La Via M, Mitchell JE, Rotondo A, Treasure J, Woodside DB. 2011. Absence of Association Between Specific Common Variants of the Obesity-Related FTO Gene and Psychological and Behavioral Eating Disorder Phenotypes. Am J Med Genet Part B 156:454–461.


Extensive population-based genome-wide association studies have identified an association between the FTO gene and BMI; however, the mechanism of action is still unknown. To determine whether FTO may influence weight regulation through psychological and behavioral factors, seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the FTO gene were genotyped in 1,085 individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 677 healthy weight controls from the international Price Foundation Genetic Studies of Eating Disorders. Each SNP was tested in association with eating disorder phenotypes and measures that have previously been associated with eating behavior pathology: trait anxiety, harm-avoidance, novelty seeking, impulsivity, obsessionality, compulsivity, and concern over mistakes. After appropriate correction for multiple comparisons, no significant associations between individual FTO gene SNPs and eating disorder phenotypes or related eating behavior pathology were identified in cases or controls. Thus, this study found no evidence that FTO gene variants associated with weight regulation in the general population are associated with eating disorder phenotypes in AN participants or matched controls. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.