Gene-environment interactions between education and body mass: evidence from the UK and Finland

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Social Science and Medicine


Vikesh Amin, Petri Böckerman, Jutta Viinikainen, Melissa Smart, Yanchun Bao, Meena Kumari, Niina Pitkänen, Terho Lehtimäki, Olli Raitakari and Jaakko Pehkonen

Publication date


More education is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) and likelihood of being overweight. However, since a large proportion of the variation in body mass is due to genetic makeup, it has been hypothesized that education may moderate the genetic risk. We estimate main associations between (i) education, (ii) genetic risk, and (iii) interactions between education and genetic risk on BMI and the probability of being overweight in the UK and Finland. The estimates show that education is negatively associated with BMI and overweightness, and genetic risk is positively associated. However, the interactions between education and genetic risk are small and statistically insignificant.

Volume and page numbers

195, 12-16





Education, Health, Biology and Genetics