Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists say a genetic test can identify newborns at heightened risk of becoming severely obese by middle age. That might give time for interventions in early childhood to head off that fate.

The test examines more than 2 million spots in a person’s genetic code, seeking variants that each nudge the obesity risk up by a tiny amount. The work was reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

The study found that in middle-aged people, those with high scores were 25 times as likely to be severely obese as those with low scores.

Analysis showed the genetic influence starts to affect body size around age 3. Researchers said the results suggest intervening by age 8 would be the best plan for heading off obesity.

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