British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Molecular Nutrition

Genotype × nutrient association of common polymorphisms in obesity-related genes with food preferences and time structure of energy intake

Julie Bienertová-Vaškůa1 c1, Petr Bienerta1, Martin Forejta2, Josef Tomandla3, Zuzana Brázdováa2 and Anna Vaškůa1

a1 Institute of Pathological Physiology, Medical Faculty, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, Brno 625 00, Czech Republic

a2 Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Tomesova 12, Brno 602 00, Czech Republic

a3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, Brno 625 00, Czech Republic


Personal food preferences can either enhance or suppress the development of obesity and the selection and proportion of macronutrients in the diet seem to have a heritable component. In the present study, we therefore focused on dietary composition as a specific trait related to obesity and we determined whether genetic variations in leptin (LEP), LEP receptor (LEPR), adiponectin (ADIPOQ), IL-6 and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) underlie specific native food preferences and obesity-related anthropometric parameters. The total of 409 individuals of Czech Caucasian origin were enrolled into the present study and 7 d food records were obtained from the study subjects along with selected anthropometric measurements. In a subset of study subjects, plasma levels of ADIPOQ, LEP and soluble LEPR were measured. Independently of the BMI of the individuals, common variations in LEP and LEPR genes were associated with specific eating patterns, mainly with respect to timing of eating. The LEP+19A/G polymorphism served as an independent predictor for BMI, percentage of body fat and skinfold thickness and significantly affected the time structure of the daily energy intake. The POMC RsaI polymorphism was associated with percentage of body fat. The ADIPOQ 45 T/G polymorphism was associated with the thickness of the subscapular skinfold. The LEPR Gln223Arg polymorphism was associated with multiple parameters, including diastolic blood pressure, meal sizes during the day and plasma ADIPOQ levels. In a separate analysis, soluble leptin receptor (sObR) plasma levels and LEP:sObR ratio were significantly correlated with systolic blood pressure (β = − 0·66, P = 0·002; β = − 1·23, P = 0·02) and sObR plasma levels also served as an independent predictor for diastolic blood pressure (β = − 0·50; P = 0·04). To conclude, we report common allelic variants associated with specific feeding behaviour and obesity-related anthropometric traits. Moreover, we identified allelic variants that significantly influence the time structure of food intake during the day.

(Received March 09 2009)

(Revised June 25 2009)

(Accepted August 07 2009)

(Online publication September 14 2009)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Julie Bienertová-Vašků, fax +420 549494340, email


Abbreviations: ADIPOQ, adiponectin; LEP, leptin; LEPR, leptin receptor; POMC, pro-opiomelanocortin; SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; sObR, soluble leptin receptor