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Comment & Response
August 2016

DRD4, Income, and Children’s Food ChoicesPlasticity Allele or Different Opportunities?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nepean Hospital, New South Wales, Australia
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(8):810. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1040

To the Editor We read with great interest the article “Genetic Differential Susceptibility to Socioeconomic Status and Childhood Obesogenic Behavior: Why Targeted Prevention May Be the Best Societal Investment,” by Silveira et al.1 In this study, the authors found that girls carrying the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 who were from a low-income bracket had increased fat intake compared with noncarriers. Similarly, girls carrying the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 who were from families with a higher income bracket had decreased fat intake compared with noncarriers. The authors postulated that the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 might not simply indicate increased susceptibility to obesity but actually be a plasticity allele that might be advantageous in more favorable settings but obesogenic in adversity.

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