Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Gene-environment interaction study on obesity, body mass index, and waist circumference

Principal Investigator: Professor Bermseok Oh
Approved Research ID: 48422
Approval date: May 14th 2019

Lay summary

Obesity is the most important risk factor of diverse life-style diseases and the prevalence has been rising steadily over the last several decades. Obesity is caused by genetic and environmental factors as well as gene-environment interactions. There are few interaction studies on obesity as yet because of inherent difficulties of interaction study. This study aims to identify genetic factors interacting with an environment factor on obesity, hoping to prevent one with high genetic risk from being obese. Diverse studies for obesity have shown the contribution of multiple lifestyle factors including sleep, smoking, alcohol, stress, and even income and education in addition to the diet and exercise. Moreover, over 400 genetic variants have been recently identified by genetic studies. The potential environment factors will be tested for their association with obesity, and these selected environmental factors will be tested for the interaction with the genetic risk score of obesity as well as individual genetic variants. This study will provide valuable information to reduce the incidence of obesity through several ways as followings. First, the identification of gene-environmental interactions can improve understanding about how obesity develops. Second, it may help high risk groups predisposed to obesity by changing the modifiable environmental factors. Third, it may improve the accuracy of modeling for the obesity prediction so that researchers develop better prevention and intervention strategies.