The prevalence of obesity has been increasing markedly in the U.S. and worldwide in the past decades; and notably, the obese populations are signified by not only the overall elevated adiposity but also particularly harmful accumulation of body fat in the central region of the body, namely, abdominal obesity. The profound shift from “traditional” to “obesogenic” environments, principally featured by the abundance of palatable, energy-dense diet, reduced physical activity, and prolonged sedentary time, promotes the obesity epidemics and detrimental body fat distribution. Recent advances in genomics studies shed light on the genetic basis of obesity and body fat distribution. In addition, growing evidence from investigations in large cohorts and clinical trials has lent support to interactions between genetic variations and environmental factors, e.g., diet and lifestyle factors, in relation to obesity and body fat distribution. This review summarizes the recent discoveries from observational studies and randomized clinical trials on the gene–environment interactions on obesity and body fat distribution.
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