Teens Who Binge Eat May Have Genetic Variant

Binge eating in teenagers may have something to do with a specific genetic variation, according to a new study from the University of Queensland.

The same genetic variations that are associated with obesity, researchers found, could also predict binge eating among 6,000 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 16.

“While it’s known that a combination of genetic and environmental factors lead to eating disorders, until now there has been limited research into how specific genes increase the likelihood of binge-eating behaviors in adolescence that can lead to obesity,” said Professor David Evans, lead study author.

The FTO gene

In teenagers who had a specific variation of the FTO gene, the likelihood of binge eating was increased 20 to 30 percent compared with adolescents without that variation, the study found.

Girls, in particular, were more likely to exhibit binge eating tendencies if they had the FTO gene.

The findings shed more light on how at-risk teenagers could be identified in order to avoid the health problems associated with binge eating and obesity, Evans said.

“It’s still early days in the research but we’re getting a better understanding of how these behaviors come about,” he concluded. “It’s very complex because the tendency to binge is a behavior influenced by many different genetic and environmental factors.”

The study is published in the journal Obesity.

Source: The University of Queensland

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on EatingDisorders.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 800-568-9025Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?