Genetic ‘light switch’ turns obesity on or off early in life

A genetic “switch” that could be triggered by a still-unknown factor early in life could be the reason many obese people are overweight, according to a study led by Andrew Pospisilik, a UBC PhD graduate now affiliated with the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics.

This means obesity isn’t always because of inherited traits or overeating, says Pospisilik. Among genetically identical twins, one twin could be overweight and the other of normal weight.

The study was covered by the Vancouver Sun, The Province and Ottawa Citizen.