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Editorial
December 2018

Healthy Homes and Obesogenic Genes in Young Children: Rigorous Behavioral Theory and Measurement and the Detection of Gene-Environment Interactions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(12):1121-1122. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1945

Obesity runs in families, with parents with higher body mass indexes (BMIs) tending to have children with higher BMIs. This familial transmission is in part because of genetic influences—that is, the heritability of obesity.1 That childhood obesity is heritable is a very reliable and robust finding, with heritability estimates (ie, the percentage of variance in BMI attributable to genetics) generally falling in the range of 60% to 85%.2 That genes have an important impact on childhood obesity would surprise few pediatricians or parents. Likewise, few would disagree.

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