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The quality and quantity of food intake affect body weight, but little is known about the genetics of such human dietary intake patterns in relation to the genetics of BMI. We aimed to estimate the heritability of dietary intake patterns and genetic correlation with BMI in participants of the Erasmus Rucphen Family study. The study included 1,690 individuals (42 % men; age range, 19-92), of whom 41.4 % were overweight and 15.9 % were obese. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess the number of days (0-7) on which participants consumed vegetables, fruit, fruit juice, fish, unhealthy snacks, fastfood, and soft drinks. Principal component analysis was applied to examine the correlations between the questionnaire items and to generate dietary intake pattern scores. Heritability and the shared genetic and shared non-genetic (environmental) correlations were estimated using the family structure of the cohort. Principal component analysis suggested that the questionnaire items could be grouped in a healthy and unhealthy dietary intake pattern, explaining 22 and 18 % of the phenotypic variance, respectively. The dietary intake patterns had a heritability of 0.32 for the healthy and 0.27 for the unhealthy pattern. Genetic correlations between the dietary intake patterns and BMI were not significant, but we found a significant environmental correlation between the unhealthy dietary intake pattern and BMI. Specific dietary intake patterns are associated with the risk of obesity and are heritable traits. The genetic factors that determine specific dietary intake patterns do not significantly overlap with the genetic factors that determine BMI.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00592-012-0387-0

Type

Journal article

Journal

Acta diabetologica

Publication Date

10/2013

Volume

50

Pages

721 - 726

Addresses

Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Keywords

Humans, Body Mass Index, Diet Surveys, Feeding Behavior, Food Preferences, Family, Eating, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult, Surveys and Questionnaires