HALO Scientist Dr. Gary Goldfield is senior author on a paper, “Association of the dopamine D2 receptor rs1800497 polymorphism and eating behavior in Chilean children,” that was recently published in Nutrition. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Obregón AM, Valladares M, Goldfield G. Association of the dopamine D2 receptor rs1800497 polymorphism and eating behavior in Chilean children. Nutrition. 2017 Mar;35:139-145.


OBJECTIVES: Studies have established a strong genetic component in eating behavior. The TaqI A1 polymorphism (rs1800497) has previously been associated with obesity and eating behavior. Additionally, this polymorphism has been associated with diminished dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) density, higher body mass, and food reinforcement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the DRD2 rs1800497 polymorphism and eating behavior in Chilean children. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study in which we selected 258 children (44% girls, 56% boys; ages 8-14 y) with a wide variation in body mass index. Anthropometric measurements were performed by standard procedures. Eating behavior was assessed using the Eating in Absence of Hunger Questionnaire (EAHQ), Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire, and the Food Reinforcement Value Questionnaire. Genotype of the rs1800497 was determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Association of the TaqI A1 variant (T allele) with eating behavior was assessed using nonparametric tests. RESULTS: Compared with normal-weight children, the obese group demonstrated higher scores on the External Eating and Fatigue/Boredom subscales of the EAHQ. Higher scores were assessed in Food Responsiveness, Emotional Overeating, Enjoyment to Food and Desire to Drink subscales (P < 0.001) and lower scores of the Satiety Responsiveness and Slowness in Eating (P < 0.05). In the sex-specific analysis, the TaqI A1 allele was associated with higher scores on Satiety Responsiveness and Emotional Undereating subscales in obese girls, and higher scores of Enjoyment of Food subscale in boys. CONCLUSION: The TaqI A1 polymorphism may be a risk factor for eating behavior traits that may predispose children to greater energy intake and obesity.