Missing DNA Linked to Childhood Obesity: Study
Missing DNA may be linked to obesity in some children, according to British researchers.
They analyzed the DNA of 300 extremely obese children (220 pounds by age 10) and pinpointed a deletion on chromosome 16 that occurs in less than 1 percent of about 1,200 severely obese children, the Associated Press reported.
This deletion means the children lack a gene that the brain needs to respond to the appetite-controlling hormone leptin, said study co-leader Dr. Sadaf Farooqi of Cambridge University.
Children with this deletion "have a very strong drive to eat," and they're "very, very hungry, they always want to eat," Farooqi said, the AP reported.
The study appears online in the journal Nature.
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