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'Obesity Gene' Linked to Runaway Appetite

Children in study had harder time feeling full
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 9:46 AM CDT
'Obesity Gene' Linked to Runaway Appetite
Still hungry?   ((c) Gaetan Lee)

(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.

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"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."
  (Read more childhood obesity stories.)

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