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Relaxed natural selection contributes to global obesity increase more in males than in females due to more environmental modifications in female body mass


You, Wenpeng; Henneberg, Maciej (2018). Relaxed natural selection contributes to global obesity increase more in males than in females due to more environmental modifications in female body mass. PLoS ONE, 13(7):e0199594.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Relaxed natural selection, measured by Biological State Index (Ibs), results in unfavourable genes/mutations accumulation in population. Obesity is partly heritable. We aim to examine and compare the effects of relaxed natural selection on male and female obesity prevalence.
METHODS: Data for 191 countries of the world were captured for this ecological study. Curvilinear regressions, bivariate and partial correlations, linear mixed models and multivariate linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between Ibs and sex-specific obesity prevalence. Per capita GDP, urbanization and caloric intake were controlled for as the confounding factors. Fisher r-to-z transformation, R2 increment in multivariate regression and F-test were used to compare the correlations.
RESULTS: Curvilinear regressions, bivariate and partial correlations (controlled for GDP, urbanization and calories) revealed that Ibs was significantly correlated to obesity prevalence of both sexes, but significantly stronger to male than to female obesity prevalence. Curvilinear regression models also showed strong correlations. Mixed linear models, with effects of GDP, urbanisation and caloric intake controlled for, showed that male and female average obesity prevalence rates were significantly higher in countries with greater Ibs value than their equivalents in countries with lower Ibs. Between higher and lower Ibs countries, the gap of male obesity prevalence is 60% greater than the gap of female obesity prevalence. Stepwise multiple regression identified that Ibs was a significant predictor of obesity prevalence of both sexes. Multivariate regression showed that, adding Ibs as an obesity predictor, R2 increment in male model was significantly greater than in female model.
CONCLUSIONS: Relaxed natural selection may drive males and females to accumulate metabolic faulty genes equally. Probably due to greater environmental, personal intervention in regulating female body mass, relaxed natural selection shows less contributing effects to female obesity prevalence than to male obesity prevalence. Gene therapy to prevent obesity may need to be also taken into account.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Relaxed natural selection, measured by Biological State Index (Ibs), results in unfavourable genes/mutations accumulation in population. Obesity is partly heritable. We aim to examine and compare the effects of relaxed natural selection on male and female obesity prevalence.
METHODS: Data for 191 countries of the world were captured for this ecological study. Curvilinear regressions, bivariate and partial correlations, linear mixed models and multivariate linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between Ibs and sex-specific obesity prevalence. Per capita GDP, urbanization and caloric intake were controlled for as the confounding factors. Fisher r-to-z transformation, R2 increment in multivariate regression and F-test were used to compare the correlations.
RESULTS: Curvilinear regressions, bivariate and partial correlations (controlled for GDP, urbanization and calories) revealed that Ibs was significantly correlated to obesity prevalence of both sexes, but significantly stronger to male than to female obesity prevalence. Curvilinear regression models also showed strong correlations. Mixed linear models, with effects of GDP, urbanisation and caloric intake controlled for, showed that male and female average obesity prevalence rates were significantly higher in countries with greater Ibs value than their equivalents in countries with lower Ibs. Between higher and lower Ibs countries, the gap of male obesity prevalence is 60% greater than the gap of female obesity prevalence. Stepwise multiple regression identified that Ibs was a significant predictor of obesity prevalence of both sexes. Multivariate regression showed that, adding Ibs as an obesity predictor, R2 increment in male model was significantly greater than in female model.
CONCLUSIONS: Relaxed natural selection may drive males and females to accumulate metabolic faulty genes equally. Probably due to greater environmental, personal intervention in regulating female body mass, relaxed natural selection shows less contributing effects to female obesity prevalence than to male obesity prevalence. Gene therapy to prevent obesity may need to be also taken into account.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:09 Aug 2018 15:19
Last Modified:30 Dec 2018 08:10
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199594
PubMed ID:30021019

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