For the first time, scientists have identified genetic flaws that make people fat.
One defect showed up in an 8-year-old girl who weighs nearly 200 pounds.
The genetic defects are described in two reports, each dealing with a different gene. One report caps a worldwide search for flaws in the gene that tells the body how to make the hormone leptin, while the other gives a new hint for understanding the complex process that controls weight.
Experts said the newfound defects cause obesity only very rarely and do not apply to the vast majority of fat people.
The new work is presented in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature and the July issue of the journal Nature Genetics.