Canadian Study Cites 79 Distinct Obesity 'Syndromes'
Obesity is not one disorder or type of illness, but comes in at least 79 different forms linked to people's genes, according to a new review of previous studies.
While doctors have long known that factors like diet and a person's level of physical activity play critical roles in obesity risk, new research out of Canada focusing on the genetic aspect of the condition finds that obesity comes in at least 79 different forms tied to genes. Reviewing more than 160 previous studies that, all told, had identified between 20 and 30 distinct types of genetic obesity, Canadian researchers identified 79 genetic "obesity syndromes." In fact, the gaps in our understanding of these syndromes are so great that only 43 of the 79 have even been given a name.
"A [clearer] understanding of the genetic causes of these syndromes may not only improve the lives of those afflicted with these mutations," senior review author David Meyre, an associate professor at McMaster University in Ontario, said in a statement, "but will also help us understand the genes and molecules that are important in obesity among members of the general population."
Image Credit: iStock