A large meta-analysis of research articles has pointed to a common variant of a gene that may predispose some individuals to obesity. While the variant was associated with only a modest increase in weight gain, it appears to cause obesity in a population already experiencing excess weight gain, the study investigators said (Frayling TM et al. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1141634 [published online April 12, 2007]).
It was during a genome-wide search for type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes that a team of scientists, primarily in the United Kingdom, first identified this variant, which lies within the FTO gene on chromosome 16.
Hampton T. Common Gene Variant Linked to Obesity. JAMA. 2007;297(19):2063-2064. doi:10.1001/jama.297.19.2063