FTO polymorphisms in oceanic populations

J Hum Genet. 2007;52(12):1031-1035. doi: 10.1007/s10038-007-0198-2. Epub 2007 Oct 11.


It has been suggested that Neel's "thrifty genotype" model may account for high body weights in some Oceanic populations, which presumably arose in modern times. In European populations, common variants (rs1421085-C, rs17817449-G, and rs9939609-A) in the fat mass and obesity (FTO associated) were recently found to be associated with body mass index (BMI) or obesity. In this study, we investigated the population frequencies of these variants in six Oceanic populations (Melanesians, Micronesians, and Polynesians) and tested for an association with BMI. Unlike European populations, the Oceanic populations displayed no significant association between the FTO polymorphisms and BMI. These variants were in strong linkage disequilibrium. The population frequencies ranged between 4.2 and 30.3% in the six Oceanic populations, and were similar to those in southeast and east Asian populations. Our study of the FTO polymorphisms has generated no evidence to support the thrifty genotype hypothesis for Oceanic populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • Body Mass Index
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Models, Genetic
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Pacific Islands
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Proteins / genetics*


  • Proteins
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • FTO protein, human