'Obesity Gene' Linked to Runaway Appetite

Children in study had harder time feeling full
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2008 9:46 AM CDT
Still hungry?   ((c) Gaetan Lee)
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(Newser) – Children who carry a version of a gene linked to obesity have a more difficult time telling when they're full, researchers have found. Earlier studies discovered that adults with two copies of the higher obesity risk version of the FTO gene were nearly 7 pounds heavier than a control group. The new research found that children with the risky variant tended to overeat because their appetites didn't switch off.

"It's not simply the case that people who carry the risky variant of this gene automatically become overweight, but they are more susceptible to overeating," said a researcher. "This makes them significantly more vulnerable to the modern environment which confronts all of us with large portion sizes and limitless opportunites to eat."