Feb 9, 2010 4:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
A new study finds some people who are severely obese are missing entire sections of their DNA.
Researchers in London studied the genes of teens and adults who had learning disabilities and found they were all missing the same portion of DNA. They were also all obese.
Researchers then studied over 16,000 adults in the general population and found 20 people with the missing chunk of DNA. Again, they were all severely obese.
The scientists say the deleted DNA is the likely cause of obesity in seven out of 1,000 adults with an extremely high Body Mass Index (BMI).
They say people with the missing DNA were normal weight toddlers who became increasingly overweight with age.
The next step for researchers is to determine the function of the missing genes.