Genetic variants associated with obesity related traits are reported in two papers published online this week in Nature Genetics.
Ruth Loos and colleagues report meta-analysis of 46 genome-wide association studies for body mass index (BMI) — a measure of general adiposity and obesity — including 123,865 individuals. They identify 18 genomic regions newly associated with BMI, and confirm 14 previously associated regions. They highlight a role for neuronal regulators of energy balance in weight regulation.
Iris Heid and colleagues report meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for waist-hip ratio (WHR) — a measure of body fat distribution — including 77,167 individuals. They identify 13 genomic regions newly associated with WHR. Seven of these associations show a stronger effect in women, highlighting sex specific differences. They find limited overlap in the genomic regions associated with body fat distribution and those associated with BMI and obesity, suggesting different regulatory pathways.