The genetics of human obesity

Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Mar;6(3):221-34. doi: 10.1038/nrg1556.


Obesity is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries, and is also becoming increasingly prevalent in the developing world. Although environmental factors are important, there is considerable evidence that genes also have a significant role in its pathogenesis. The identification of genes that are involved in monogenic, syndromic and polygenic obesity has greatly increased our knowledge of the mechanisms that underlie this condition. In the future, dissection of the complex genetic architecture of obesity will provide new avenues for treatment and prevention, and will increase our understanding of the regulation of energy balance in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Genome, Human*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Obesity / genetics*