B3478 - Understanding how eating behaviours mediate genetic susceptibility to obesity - 26/05/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Natalia Lawrence | University of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Shahina Begum, Timothy Frayling, Zoi Toumpakari, Elanor Hinton , Laura Johnson
Title of project: 
Understanding how eating behaviours mediate genetic susceptibility to obesity
Proposal summary: 

The obesity epidemic has largely been attributed to the modern food environment, in which foods high in fat and sugar are affordable, accessible and aggressively marketed. However, genetics and individual eating habits have also been argued to heavily influence weight. Eating more than needed can lead to weight gain, but for some, exercising control and knowing when to stop is particularly difficult. Longitudinal studies have suggested that flexible restraint (e.g. a gradual approach to dieting, using control when over-eating) is more adaptive and prevents weight gain in individuals with a lack of control over eating relative to more rigid forms of restraint (an ‘all or nothing’ approach). This study proposes to investigate how much of the relationship between inherited genes and obesity in adulthood, is facilitated by eating habits and food preferences, and whether these pathways can be lessened through contending eating behaviours and food preferences in childhood and adulthood.

Impact of research: 
Understanding of the mechanisms through which genetic determinants affect eating behaviours, and in turn adiposity is expected to inform the body of research investigating the most effective obesity prevention and treatment interventions.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 26 May, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 26 May, 2020
Psychology and Genetics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Obesity, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, Statistical methods, BMI, Cognition - cognitive function, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Growth, Neurology, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet, Psychology - personality