British Journal of Nutrition

Research Article

Energy balance and body-weight stability: impact of gene–environment interactions

Angelo Tremblaya1a2 c1, Louis Pérussea1 and Claude Boucharda3

a1 Division of Kinesiology and Functional Foods, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4

a2 Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4

a3 Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA 70808, USA


Studies of monozygotic twins in the context of overfeeding and energy deficit experiments have shown that gene–environment interactions affect energy balance. From a clinical standpoint, this implies that some individuals are more susceptible to body-weight gain or loss than others because of genetic differences. This opens new perspectives in predictive medicine. In the future, health professionals should be able to count on early diagnosis of individuals at risk for developing long-term metabolic problems and obesity or for not responding adequately to clinical interventions. However, before predictive medicine is in a position to contribute significantly to prevention or treatment of patients, an enormous amount of work has to be done to identify all genetic and environmental factors of relevance, and their network of interactions.

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c1 *Corresponding author: Dr Angelo Tremblay, fax +1 418 656 2441, email