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Twin Study of Heritability of Eating Bread in Danish and Finnish Men and Women

  • Ann L. Hasselbalch (a1), Karri Silventoinen (a2), Kaisu Keskitalo (a3), Kirsi H. Pietiläinen (a4), Aila Rissanen (a5), Berit L. Heitmann (a6), Kirsten O. Kyvik (a7), Thorkild I. A. Sørensen (a8) and Jaakko Kaprio (a9)...

Abstract

Bread is an elementary part of the western diet, and especially rye bread is regarded as an important source of fibre. We investigated the heritability of eating bread in terms of choice of white and rye bread and use-frequency of bread in female and male twins in Denmark and Finland. The study cohorts included 575 Danish (age range 18–67 years) and 2009 Finnish (age range 22–27 years) adult twin pairs. Self-reported frequency of eating bread was obtained by food frequency questionnaires. Univariate models based on linear structural equations for twin data were used to estimate the relative magnitude of the additive genetic, shared environmental and individual environmental effects on bread eating frequency and choice of bread. The analysis of bread intake frequency demonstrated moderate heritability ranging from 37–40% in the Finnish cohort and 23–26% in the Danish cohort. The genetic influence on intake of white bread was moderate (24–31%), while the genetic influence on intake of rye bread was higher in men (41–45%) than in women (24–33%). Environmental influences shared by the twins were not significant. Consumption of bread as well as choice of bread is influenced by genetic predisposition. Environmental factors shared by the co-twins (e.g., childhood environment) seem to have no significant effects on bread consumption and preference in adulthood.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Ann Louise Hasselbalch, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen, Capital Region, Copenhagen University Hospitals, Centre for Health and Society, Øster Søgade 18, 1. Floor, 1357 Copenhagen, Denmark.

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