Semin Plast Surg 2002; 16(2): 187-194
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-32259
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Obesity

Molly S. Bray
  • Human Genetics Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
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Publication History

Publication Date:
17 June 2002 (online)


Obesity has been attributed to genetic, social, psychological, physiological, nutritional, and socioeconomic influences, indicating that multiple interacting variables likely affect body size and mass. In addition to environmental factors such as dietary intake and physical activity, research from both human and animal studies has provided substantial evidence for the contribution of genes in the determination of the obese phenotype. Nevertheless, identification of the genetic components influencing obesity is often difficult due to the multiplicity of contributing factors. This article briefly summarizes current strategies being used to elucidate genes and gene-environment interactions that play a role in the development of obesity. Because liposuction surgery is becoming increasingly utilized as an intervention for obesity, these strategies serve to illustrate the importance of considering the interaction between genes and environments when investigating the underlying etiology of obesity and response to treatment.