The increasing prevalence of obesity, a complex condition, is a major public health concern in the US. Although environmental factors play an important role in the development of obesity, there is strong evidence from both human and animal studies indicating that genes also contribute to the development of obesity.


This presentation created by UWCGPH provides public health practitioners with information about the genetics of obesity. A live presentation was given at the Chronic Disease Directors (CDD) Diet, Nutrition, and Physical Activity (DNPA) teleconference on October 14th, 2004.

Presentation Learning Objectives

Be familiar with the evidence for genetic influences on obesity.
Understand how genetic factors can influence obesity, both directly and indirectly.
Be familiar with one current application of genomic information for public health practice.

View the presentation, "Obesity: Current Topics in Genetics"

Download the audio-assisted presentation for PC* (34 MB)
Download the audio-assisted presentation for Macintosh* (34 MB)
Download the pdf file (700 KB)

Download the accompanying brochure (pdf).

Selected Documents

Loos RJ, Bouchard C. Obesity - is it a genetic disorder? J Intern Med 2003;254(5):401-25. (PubMed Link)
Drewnowski A. Taste preferences and food intake. Annu Rev Nutr 1997;17:237-53. (PubMed Link)

Useful Links

CDC's Public Health Perspective on Obesity and Genetics
A webpage containing information and commentary on discoveries of genetic variants, related disease outcomes, and the complex social, legal, and ethical issues surrounding genetic discoveries. Topics are examined from a public health perspective.

UW - Center for Public Health Nutrition
The University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition's mission is to foster research that integrates the biomedical, public health, and policy aspects of the obesity epidemic.

MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

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