FTO gene: association to weight regain after lifestyle intervention in overweight children

Horm Res Paediatr. 2014;81(6):391-6. doi: 10.1159/000358328. Epub 2014 May 7.


Objective: Polymorphisms in intron 1 of the 'fat mass and obesity-associated' (FTO) gene are associated with weight status. We hypothesized that the risk allele at a polymorphism in intron 1 of FTO is associated with weight regain after end of lifestyle intervention.

Methods: We longitudinally analyzed the changes of weight status as BMI-SDS in 346 unrelated overweight children (mean age 10.6 ± 2.6 years, 45% male, mean BMI-SDS 2.39 ± 0.49) both at the end of a 1-year lifestyle intervention and 1 year after the end of this intervention. We genotyped the obesity risk SNP rs9939609 at FTO by ARMS-PCR.

Results: The children reduced their BMI-SDS (-0.29 ± 0.33; p < 0.001) during intervention and increased their BMI-SDS between the end of intervention and 1 year later (+0.10 ± 0.41; p < 0.001). The obesity risk allele at FTO SNP rs9939609 was not associated with BMI-SDS reduction during the lifestyle intervention (p = 0.622), but with weight regain 1 year after end of the intervention in multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, pubertal stage, and baseline BMI-SDS (Bonferroni corrected p = 0.002).

Conclusions: The obesity risk allele at a polymorphism in intron 1 of FTO was associated with weight regain 1 year after a 1-year lifestyle intervention.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00435734.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alleles
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Child
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Overweight / genetics*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Weight Gain / genetics*


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

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00435734