Familial resemblance in energy intake: Contribution of genetic and environmental factors

L. Perusse, A. Tremblay, C. Leblanc, C. R. Cloninger, T. Reich, J. Rice, C. Bouchard

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Total energy intake and intakes of carbohydrate, fat, and protein as well as the percentage of energy derived from these nutrients were calculated from a 3-d dietary record in 1597 subjects living in 375 families of French descent. Familial correlations were computed in pairs of biological relatives and relatives by adoption and used in the path-analysis BETA model to determine the contribution of genetic and nongenetic factors in the familial resemblance observed in energy intake. No significant genetic effect was found for intake of any nutrient tested (h2 ≤ 11%) and cultural inheritance was found to be more important than genetic inheritance. Nontransmitted environmental factors, including home environmental effects, were found to account for more than 50% of the variation observed in the energy-intake components. These results suggest that the average genetic influence on nutrient intake is negligible and that nongenetic effects assocdiated mainly with home environmental effects are the major affectors of energy intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988


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