Genetic influences on eating and the eating disorders

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The current chapter reviews our progress in understanding how genes influence eating and eating disorders (EDs) by addressing the following areas: (1) how recognition of genetic influences on eating and EDs emerged; (2) the complex nature of genetic action; (3) what twin studies can tell us about genetic influences; and (4) the current state of linkage and association studies. It is concluded that genes are an important part of the explanatory framework for the etiology of EDs, with an important contribution of the shared environment to the development of cognition and attitudes that may initiate disordered eating practices, and a critical contribution of the environment in providing a context within which genetic risk is more likely to be expressed. We currently have a limited understanding of the specific genes that are implicated, and the ways in which genes and the environment work together to increase risk for disordered eating.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199940318
    ISBN (Print)9780195373622
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2012


    • Association studies
    • Gene × environment interactions
    • Heritability
    • Linkage studies
    • Shared environment
    • Twin studies


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