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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Appetitive traits: Genetic contributions to pediatric eating behaviors

Author
item WOOD, ALEXIS - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2017
Publication Date: 7/4/2018
Citation: Wood, A.C. 2018. Appetitive traits: Genetic contributions to pediatric eating behaviors. In: Lumeng, J,C., Fisher, J.O. editors. Pediatric Food Preferences and Eating Behaviors. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press. p.127-143.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Weight status across childhood is a multifactorial trait, reflecting genomic, metabolic, demographic, sociobehavioral, and cognitive-behavioral influences. At a population level, the variance in body mass index (BMI) can ultimately be attributed to behaviors that influence the amount of energy consumed and how much is expended. In recognition of this, a growing body of research has focused not on what individuals eat, but how they eat. That is, irrespective of the food type or source, how are the set of traits which comprise a child's eating behaviors contributing to the consumption side of energy imbalance? The associations of these eating behavior traits with weight have highlighted the need to understand their etiology, to give insights into the causes of pediatric obesity. Like weight status, the downstream consequence of eating behaviors, eating behaviors reflect a similar balance of biological and environmental influences which act together in complex interplay. The goal of this chapter is to describe the known role of genetics in influencing the behaviors that, collectively, describe how children eat. This chapter will focus on what is known about genetic influences in pediatric eating behaviors and potential utility of this information for obesity prevention and intervention efforts.