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Approved research

The genetics of obesity & thinness

Principal Investigator: Professor Ines Barroso
Approved Research ID: 14069
Approval date: September 1st 2015

Lay summary

This proposal seeks access to UK Biobank data to support ongoing efforts to identify genetic variants underlying human body weight by studying the extremes of the BMI distribution (severe childhood obesity and lifelong thinness). The UK Biobank data will be a valuable resource to validate findings in our ongoing obesity studies and investigate the effect of identified loci in the general population. Obesity is a major public health problem with substantial impacts on morbidity and mortality. The research we plan is entirely congruent with the stated aim of UK Biobank to improve `the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses` We are interested in how genes influence human body weight. In the full data set of 500,000 participants we will generate cases and controls selected from the top and bottom tails of the BMI distribution. We will then compare these cases to each other and each to the ?middle? of the distribution, to identify correlations between genetic variation and extreme obesity/thinness. These results will act as an independent replication set to validate any genetic variants identified through our ongoing studies and will enable us to check the effect of variants on BMI as a continous trait. We wish to study the full cohort.