To study if genes with common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with obesity-related phenotypes influence weight loss (WL) in obese individuals treated by a hypo-energetic low-fat or high-fat diet.
Randomised, parallel, two-arm, open-label multi-centre trial.
Eight clinical centres in seven European countries.
771 obese adult individuals.
10-wk dietary intervention to hypo-energetic (−600 kcal/d) diets with a targeted fat energy of 20%–25% or 40%–45%, completed in 648 participants.
WL during the 10 wk in relation to genotypes of 42 SNPs in 26 candidate genes, probably associated with hypothalamic regulation of appetite, efficiency of energy expenditure, regulation of adipocyte differentiation and function, lipid and glucose metabolism, or production of adipocytokines, determined in 642 participants.
Compared with the noncarriers of each of the SNPs, and after adjusting for gender, age, baseline weight and centre, heterozygotes showed WL differences that ranged from −0.6 to 0.8 kg, and homozygotes, from −0.7 to 3.1 kg. Genotype-dependent additional WL on low-fat diet ranged from 1.9 to −1.6 kg in heterozygotes, and from 3.8 kg to −2.1 kg in homozygotes relative to the noncarriers. Considering the multiple testing conducted, none of the associations was statistically significant.
Polymorphisms in a panel of obesity-related candidate genes play a minor role, if any, in modulating weight changes induced by a moderate hypo-energetic low-fat or high-fat diet.
Background: Obesity is an important cause of death and disease, particularly in the developed world. It is understood that both environmental and genetic factors contribute towards obesity. Numerous studies have associated particular gene variants with a tendency towards obesity, but it is not known whether such gene variants affect the degree to which obese individuals will lose weight when dieting.
What this trial shows: As part of a randomised trial, 771 participants were assigned to one of two different low-energy diets for 10 weeks: one low in fat or one high in fat. The researchers then did a genetic analysis of 642 participants completing the intervention, to find out whether any of 42 distinct genetic variations in 26 genes were associated with weight loss in the trial. The genetic variants were chosen for study as they were known or already thought to be associated with appetite regulation or various aspects of metabolism and fat tissue development and function. The investigators found that none of the genetic variants studied had a significant association with weight loss in the trial. It was also seen that the majority of genetic variants were not associated with efficacy of one dietary intervention over another.
Strengths and limitations: Although a large number of participants was recruited into the trial, the genetic analysis involved multiple comparisons—168 tests of 42 genetic variants. This increases the likelihood that any significant associations found could have resulted from chance alone. Significant associations from this study will require additional confirmation in larger studies.
Contribution to the evidence: This study adds data indicating that variation in the genes studied did not have an important influence on weight loss.